|Population growth rate
||18.10 births per 1,000 residents
|Overall life expectancy
|Men life expectancy
|Women life expectancy
|65 years and above
||1.01 M / F
||417.69 residents per km˛
|(F 2014) Yeruschalayim / Al-Quds (Jerusalem) 849,800, Tel-Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa) 426,100, Hefa (Haifa) 277,100, Rishon
LeZiyyon 240,700, Petah-Tikva 225,400, Ashdod 218,000, Netanya 202,400,
Be'ér Scheva '(Beersheba) 201,100, Holon 187,300, Bene Berak 178,300,
Ramat Gan 150,900, Rehovot 128,900, Bat Yam 128,500, Ashkelon 126,800
|80% Jews and others, 20% Israeli Arabs
|Jews 80.1%; Muslims 14.6% (mainly Sunnis); Christians
2.1%; Other 3.2% (1996 est.)
|Human Development Index (HDI)
People in Israel
Israel is a small country, not only in terms of area,
but also in terms of population. About 9.1 million
people live in Israel, much fewer than in neighboring
countries. 70 out of 100 people are originally from
Europe and Russia, 20 out of 100 are Arabs and some come
from Ethiopia, Morocco, the United States and other
countries. 6.3 million are Jews and 1.9 million are
Arabs. But what does that mean?
Who are the Palestinians anyway?
We are talking about Israelis, who are mostly of
Jewish faith, but can also be of Muslim or Christian
faith. But who are the Palestinians? Where do they live
and where do they come from?
Descendants of the people who have always lived in
Palestinians are originally the Arabic-speaking
residents who lived in Palestine, which Great Britain
received as a League of Nations mandate in 1920.
Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire, but there
never was a state called "Palestine". For a long time,
Israel took the position that there was no Palestinian
people of their own.
Today all see themselves as Palestinians who live in
the Palestinian Territories in Gaza and the West Bank,
as well as those who have fled to other countries in the
world. Often they also live as refugees in the
neighboring countries of Israel.
The Palestinians are demanding their own state. Most
Palestinians are Sunni Muslims, but there are also
Christian and members of the Orthodox Church. Druze and
Bedouins speak Arabic, but they are not Palestinians,
but belong to their own ethnic group.
West Bank and Gaza Strip
Israel was founded in 1948 as a state of the Jews.
But there were many more Arabs than Jews living here.
They also wanted their own state. They were against the
settlement of Jews and wanted to stay in their homeland.
War broke out between Israel and its neighboring states.
In 1967 Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
among others. Many of the Arabs living there fled.
Between 1987 and 1993 war broke out between the
Palestinians and the Israeli army, which eventually
ended with the West Bank and Gaza being awarded to the
Palestinians. Together they form the Palestinian
Who is the PLO?
In 1964 an organization was founded to campaign for
the freedom of Palestine. This Palestine Liberation
Organization is also abbreviated to PLO. The PLO
consists of several groups, some of which have different
goals, the best known group is Fatah. For many years the
name of the PLO was associated with that of a man named
Yasser Arafat. He was chairman of the PLO until his
death in 2004.
Initially, the PLO fought as a terrorist organization
and carried out attacks in order to fight for its goal.
But in 1974 it was recognized as the legitimate
representative of the Palestinians. In 1993, in return,
the PLO recognized Israel as a state in the hope of
being able to found its own state in the remaining
What is the role of Hamas?
As the founding of their own state became ever more
distant, radical forces gained more and more power. This
includes above all Hamas. You don't belong to the PLO.
There have been many attempts to include them, but these
attempts have always failed. Hamas has its origins in
the Muslim Brotherhood founded in Egypt. She wants to
establish a state for the Palestinians by violent means
and does not shy away from terror.
With or without violence
The division of the Palestinians into the moderate
group of Fatah, which also includes the President of
the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, and the
radical group of Hamas, which does not shy away from
terror, is blocking the peace process between Israel and
Abbas 'government in the West Bank is recognized by
the West and Israel, while Hamas' government in Gaza is
not. But the Palestinians only see the standstill and
are often desperate because nothing has changed in their
poor living conditions. There is a risk that young
Palestinians will turn to radical groups. Do you believe
that they would do better for your future. But the
violence encourages new violence.
So it will depend on the local young people how the
development continues. However, we must not forget the
major political situation, because the influence of the
United States on further development should not be
underestimated. And whether the decisions of President
Trump strengthen the peace efforts or add fuel to the
fire, everyone has to judge for themselves.
Languages in Israel
For a long time the official languages were Hebrew
AND Arabic. However, Hebrew has not been the only
official language since mid-2018. Of course, Arabic will
continue to be spoken, but Arabic is no longer an
Since many immigrants are from Russia, Russian is
also widely spoken. Most Israelis - especially the young
and urban people - understand English. Israelis attach
great importance to schooling, which is why many also
speak English. If you travel to Israel, you can
communicate well in English, especially in the cities.
There are also street signs in English. In the country
things can look completely different, here there are
also people who neither understand nor speak English.
But anyone who travels through Israel will quickly find
that most of them try to understand tourists and to help
them, because the Israelis, whether Jews, Muslims or
Christians, are a very hospitable nation.
Religions in Israel
Many different groups live in Israel
In our perception, Israel is the state of the Jews. On
the one hand, that's true, but it's not enough as a
description. Because the population of Israel consists
of many different groups, although the Jewish population
actually makes up the largest part. But there are also
many Arabs living in Israel, some of whom are also
citizens of Israel. Furthermore, not all Arabs are
necessarily Muslims ; there are also Christian Arabs or
the Druze or Bedouin group. Other minorities also live
Every Jew is allowed to come to Israel
If you put this in numbers, 75 out of 100 people in
Israel are Jewish. Thus, Israel is the only state in the
world in which the majority of the population consists
of Jews. Every Jew, no matter where he lives in the
world, is allowed to come to Israel and settle there.
Within the Jewish population, a distinction is made
between Ashkenazim, the immigrants from Europe and
America, the Sephardim, the Jews who immigrated from
today's Spain and Portugal and the Misrachim who come
from the Middle East or North Africa. Then there is the
Beta Israel, who come from Ethiopia, and the Tzabar.
These were born in Israel and do not belong to any of
the other groups.
What does orthodox actually mean?
Even if so many Jews live in Israel, that doesn't mean
that all of them strictly live the Jewish faith. Many
Israelis are of Jewish faith, but not necessarily
strictly religious. Orthodox Jews are called orthodox.
About 20 out of 100 Jews live the Orthodox faith.
group influences political decisions and people's daily
lives. In the case of particularly devout Jews, the men
wear a black suit, a black hat and often a forelock.
Women cover their hair. The strictly Orthodox Jews make
up only a small part of the population: about six out of
100 people are so strict. Well, the transitions are
sometimes fluid, so the numbers are not exact, but the
order of magnitude is correct. The number of Jews with
Orthodox faith is also increasing, because many Orthodox
have more children than non-Orthodox Israelis.
Israelis - especially the younger ones - live modern
Most Jews, however, live their beliefs and
their traditions more or less strictly. Many Jews are
critical of the strictly Orthodox faith, especially with
a view to the consequences that this form of faith has
for Israeli politics.
Who are the Arab Israelis?
There are also many Arabs in Israel who are Israeli
citizens. So they are Israelis, but not Jews, but
Muslims or other beliefs. They came here when Palestine
was under the League of Nations mandate, did not flee
in the wars that Israel waged or are descendants of the
Arabs who have always lived on what is now Israel.
Minorities in Israel
Israel is unique in the world
because three of the great world regions have their
origin here: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Each of
the three religions regards the land as sacred. This has
led to conflicts in the past that continue to the
But there is also a Christian minority living in Israel
and spread over the whole country. They too are mostly
Arabs. Other groups who also live in Israel are the
Samaritans, the Circassians, Armenians, followers of the
Baha'i religion and immigrants from Africa. People from
Asia who have found work in Israel also live here, as
well as some Sinti and Roma.