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    Israel Government




    Israel    Government Top of Page
    Country name: conventional long form:  State of Israel

    conventional short form:  Israel

    local long form:  Medinat Yisra'el

    local short form:  Yisra'el
    Government type: parliamentary democracy
    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); note - 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 Moshe KATSAV (since 31 July 2000)

    head of government:  Prime Minister Ariel SHARON (since 2 March 2001)

    cabinet:  Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset

    elections:  president elected by the Knesset for a five-year term; election last held 31 July 2000 (next to be held NA July 2005); prime minister elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 6 February 2001 (next to be held NA 2005); note - in March 1992, the Knesset approved legislation, effective in 1996, which allowed for the direct election of the prime minister, but in 2001 the Knesset voted to restore the previous method under which the legislators will choose the next prime minister after the next legislative elections in 2003

    election results:  Moshe KATSAV elected president by the 120-member Knesset with a total of 60 votes, other candidate, Shimon PERES, received 57 votes (there were three abstentions); Ariel SHARON elected prime minister; percent of vote - Ariel SHARON 62.5%, Ehud BARAK 37.4%; note - after the next legislative elections scheduled for 2003, the prime minister will be elected by the Knesset
    Legislative branch: unicameral Knesset or parliament (120 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

    elections:  last held 17 May 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003)

    election results:  percent of vote by party - One Israel 20.2%, Likud Party 14.1%, Shas 13%, MERETZ 7.6%, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 5.1%, Shinui 5%, Center Party 5%, National Religious Party 4.2%, United Torah Judaism 3.7%, United Arab List 3.4%, National Union 3%, Hadash 2.6%, Yisra'el Beiteinu 2.6%, Balad 1.9%, One Nation 1.9%, Democratic Movement NA (party formed after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya list); seats by party - One Israel 26, Likud Party 19, Shas 17, MERETZ 10, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 4, Shinui 6, Center Party 6, National Religious Party 5, United Torah Judaism 5, United Arab List 5, National Union 4, Hadash 3, Yisra'el Beiteinu 4, Democratic Movement 2 (party formed after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya list), Balad 2, One Nation 2
    Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices appointed for life by the president)
    Political parties and leaders: Balad or National Democratic Alliance [Amnon LIPKIN-SHAHAK]; Center Party [Yitzhak MORDECHAI]; Democratic Movement [Roman BRONFMAN]; Gesher [David LEVI]; Hadash [Muhammad BARAKA]; Labor Party [leader vacant]; Likud Party [Ariel SHARON]; MERETZ [Yossi SARID]; National Democratic Alliance (Balad) [leader NA]; National Religious Party [Yitzhak LEVY]; National Union [Rehavam ZEEVI] (includes Herut, Tekuma, and Moledet); One Israel [leader NA] (includes Labor, Gesher, and Meimad); One Nation [Amir PERETZ]; Shas [Eliyahu YISHAI]; Shinui [Tommy LAPID]; United Arab List [Abd al-Malik DAHAMSHAH]; United Torah Judaism [Rabbi Eliezer SHACK, spiritual leader]; Yisra'el Ba'Aliya [Natan SHARANSKY]; Yisra'el Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]
    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: 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), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
    Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador David IVRY

    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 Martin S. INDYK

    embassy:  71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv

    mailing address:  PSC 98, Unit 7228, 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

     

    Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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