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Israel Geographical Information

Israel (including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) is part of the Asian continent, with the Mediterranean Sea flowing on its western coast, Lebanon and Syria on the north, Jordan on the east and Red Sea on the south. A narrow sandy shore bordered by a fertile plain about 40 km wide runs from Rosh Hanikra in the north to the Israel Egypt border in the south. This is the heartland of Israel. To the west running north to south lie the mountain ranges of which Golan Heights and Galilee are most famous. Israel’s highest mountain, Mount Hermon is in the Golan Heights. The Rift Valley, the longest valley in the world, runs the entire length of the eastern side of Israel. The Judean Desert lies between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea in the West Bank. The Jordan River flows north to south to the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee at the foot of the Golan Heights is the main source of water. The Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley is the lowest area on earth at 386 metres below sea level. Its unique water is renowned for its healing properties.

Israel is at the junction of three natural zones and has a wealth of different flora and fauna of southern as well as northern species. It has more than 2500 plant types, 430 bird species, 70 mammals and 80 reptile species. Israel is the world’s second largest flyway for migratory birds after South America.

Climatic differences have led to wintry apple trees, Mediterranean vineyards and desert date palms, all found within a few km of each other. Israel’s oldest trees are the olive groves of the Garden of Gethsemane belonging to the period 500 BC-70 AD. There are nearly 300 natural reserves, several of which are major tourist attractions. Spring is a lovely time to visit Israel though climatic and topographical differences in Israel lead to different types of flowers blossoming at different times. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) safeguards Israel’s natural assets.

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