Israel is located in the area of the world known as the Middle East. It shares borders with the countries of Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in the southwest. Its eastern shores are on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a predominantly Jewish country.
The Formation of Modern Israel
Historically the people of God were known as the country of Israel and their boundaries spread far wider than those of modern day Israel. Political discussions began as early as 1917 about finding a suitable place to establish a permanent national home for the Jewish people. After World War I Great Britain was granted the Mandate of Palestine by the League of Nations. This was a political document stating Great Britain’s right to formally rule in that area. The Mandate spilt Palestine into two sections one which was subject to Great Britain’s rule and the other which was exempt. This document also included information about establishing a national home for the Jewish people in the country of Palestine. This was the beginning of the creation of the modern day country of Israel.
In 1947 the United Nations voted in favor of partitioning Palestine to include a Jewish State, an Arab state and an UN-administered Jerusalem. The Jewish population agreed to this proposal but the Arab population did not and a civil war ensued. Israel declared their independence as a separate country in May 1948 and was promptly invaded by Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq. After a year of fighting a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders or the green line was set up. Jordan took control of the West bank and East Jerusalem and Egypt took control of what is now known as the Gaza strip. Fighting still continues across these borders today.