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    Israel Government 1998

      Country name
      conventional long form: State of Israel
      conventional short form: Israel
      local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
      local short form: Yisra'el

      Data code IS

      Government type republic

      National capital Jerusalem
      note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the US, like nearly all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv

      Administrative divisions 6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv

      Independence 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

      National holiday Independence Day, 14 May 1948 (Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May)

      Constitution no formal constitution; some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the basic laws of the parliament (Knesset), and the Israeli citizenship law

      Legal system mixture of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985, Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

      Suffrage 18 years of age; universal

      Executive branch
      chief of state: President Ezer WEIZMAN (since 13 May 1993)
      head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 18 June 1996)
      cabinet: Cabinet selected from and approved by the Knesset
      elections: president elected by the Knesset for a five-year term; election last held 4 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); prime minister elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 29 May 1996 (next to be held NA 2000); note - in March 1992, the Knesset approved legislation, effective in 1996, which allowed for the direct election of the prime minister; under the new law, each voter casts two ballots - one for the direct election of the prime minister and one for the party in the Knesset; the candidate that receives the largest percentage of the popular vote then works to form a coalition with other parties to achieve a parliamentary majority of 61 seats; finally, the candidate must submit his or her cabinet to the Knesset for approval and this must be done within 45 days of the election; in contrast to the old system, under the new law, the prime minister's party need not be the single-largest party in the Knesset
      election results: Ezer WEIZMAN elected president by the Knesset with a total of 63 votes, other candidate, Shaul AMOR, received 49 votes (there were seven abstentions and one absence); Binyamin NETANYAHU elected prime minister; percent of vote - Binyamin NETANYAHU 50.4%, Shimon PERES 49.5%

      Legislative branch unicameral Knesset or parliament (120 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
      elections: last held 29 May 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)
      election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Labor Party 34, Likud Party 32, SHAS 10, MERETZ 9, National Religious Party 9, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 7, Hadash-Balad 5, Third Way 4, United Arab List 4, United Jewish Torah 4, Moledet 2; note - Likud, Tzomet, and Gesher candidates ran on a joint list

      Judicial branch Supreme Court, appointed for life by the president

      Political parties and leaders
      government coalition: Likud Party, Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU; Tzomet, Rafael EITAN; SHAS, Arieh DERI; National Religious Party, Yitzhak LEVI; Yisra'el Ba'Aliya, Natan SHARANSKY; United Jewish Torah, Meir PORUSH; Third Way, Avigdor KAHALANI
      opposition: Labor Party, Ehud BARAK; MERETZ, Yossi SARID; United Arab List, Abd al-Malik DAHAMSHAH; Hadash-Balad, Hashim MAHAMID
      other: Moledet, Rehavam ZEEVI; Gesher, David LEVI

      Political pressure groups and leaders Gush Emunim, Israeli nationalists advocating Jewish settlement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Peace Now supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and is critical of government's Lebanon policy

      International organization participation AG (observer), BSEC (observer), CCC, CE (observer), CERN (observer), EBRD, ECE, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, OAS (observer), OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Zalman SHOVAL
      chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500
      FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607
      consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco

      Diplomatic representation from the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Edward WALKER
      embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv
      mailing address: PSC 98, Box 100, APO AE 09830
      telephone: [972] (3) 519-7575
      FAX: [972] (3) 517-3227
      consulate(s) general: Jerusalem; note - an independent US mission, established in 1928, whose members are not accredited to a foreign government

      Flag description white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag

      NOTE: The information regarding Israel on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Israel Government 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Israel Government 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)