Israel

Following World War II, the UN partitioned the area Britain had been administering as Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs and which remains the basis of the controversies which continue until today. The new nation was infused with many war refugees and many other European Jews who simply did not want to rebuild a life in Europe. The country developed rapidly and is now among the top economies in the Mideast and southeastern Europe. A number of wars have been fought with Arab neighbors, the greatest being in 1967 after which Israel occupied a large portion of Egypt and Jordan, much of which was returned in the 1979 peace treaty. Israel less the contested areas of the west bank is about the size of New Jersey. The country has few natural resources and notably no oil. Its export industry is driven by high technology hardware, some copper and extensive agricultural farming of fruits and vegetables. The population is around 7.5 million.