The Punics, known as Carthaginians, were a people from Ancient Carthage in modern-day Tunisia, North Africa, who traced their origins to the Berbers and Phoenicians. Punic is the English adjective derived from the Latin adjective punicus to describe anything Carthaginian and their language, was a dialect of Phoenician. Unlike their Phoenician ancestors, Carthaginians had an aristocracy who established a rule of the hinterland in Northern Africa. In times one of these clans established a Hellenistic-inspired empire in Iberia, like other Phoenician people, their urbanized culture and economy were strongly linked to the sea. In the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Sicily they had strong economic and their naval presence and trade extended throughout the Mediterranean and beyond to the British Isles, the Canaries, and West Africa. Technical achievements of the Punic people of Carthage include the development of uncolored glass, after the Punic Wars, Romans used the term Punic as an adjective meaning treacherous.
Phoenicians settled in Northwest Africa and other areas under Carthaginian rule and their culture, Remains of the Punic culture can be found in settlements from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to Cyprus in the East. Punic culture became a melting pot, since Carthage was a big trading port, the Carthaginians carried out significant sea explorations around Africa and elsewhere from their base in Carthage. Carthaginians pushed westerly into the Atlantic and established important settlements in Lixus, Volubilis and Mogador, being trade rivals with Magna Graecia, the Carthaginians had several clashes with the Greeks over the island of Sicily in the Sicilian Wars from 600-265 BC. They eventually fought Rome in the Sicilian Wars of 265-146 BC and this enabled a Roman settlement of Africa and eventual domination of the Mediterranean Sea. They were eventually incorporated into the Roman Republic in 146 BC with the destruction of Carthage but Cato never got to see his victory, the destruction of Carthage was not the end of the Carthaginians.
After the wars, the city of Carthage was completely razed, there were, other Punic cities in North Africa, and Carthage itself was rebuilt and regained some importance, if a shadow of its ancient influence. Although the area was partially romanized and some of the population adopted the Roman religion, the language, people of Punic origin prospered again as traders and even politicians of the Roman Empire. Septimius Severus, emperor of Rome and a proud Punic, was said to speak Latin with a Punic accent, under his reign Carthaginians rose to the elites and their deities entered their imperial cult. Carthage was rebuilt about 46 BC by Julius Caesar, places in the area were granted for settlement as benefits to soldiers who had served in Roman armies. Carthage again prospered and even became the two trading city in the Roman Empire, until Constantinople took over that position. As Christianity spread in the Roman Empire, it was successful in North Africa. Saint Augustine, born in Thagaste, considered himself Punic, one of his more well known passages reads, It is an excellent thing that the Punic Christians call Baptism itself nothing else but salvation, and the Sacrament of Christs Body nothing else but life
In written language, a logogram or logograph is a written character that represents a word or phrase. Chinese characters and Japanese kanji are logograms, some Egyptian hieroglyphs, the use of logograms in writing is called logography. A writing system that is based on logograms is called a logographic system, in alphabets and syllabaries, individual written characters represent sounds rather than concepts. Unlike logograms, phonograms do not necessarily have meaning by themselves, Writing language in this way is called phonemic orthography. Logographic systems include the earliest writing systems, the first historical civilizations of the Near East, China, a more recent attempt is Zlango, intended for use in text messaging, currently including around 300 icons. The term logosyllabary is used to emphasize the partially phonetic nature of these scripts when the domain is the syllable. For example, Egyptian was used to write both sȝ duck and sȝ son, though it is likely that these words were not pronounced the same apart from their consonants and this can be illustrated with Chinese.
Not all Chinese characters represent morphemes, some morphemes are composed of more than one character, for example, the Chinese word for spider, 蜘蛛 zhīzhū, was created by fusing the rebus 知朱 zhīzhū with the bug determinative 虫. Neither *蜘 zhī nor *蛛 zhū can be used separately, in Archaic Chinese, one can find the reverse, a single character representing more than one morpheme. An example is Archaic Chinese 王 hjwangs, a combination of a morpheme hjwang meaning king, in modern Mandarin, bimorphemic syllables are always written with two characters, for example 花儿 huār flower. These logograms, called hozwārishn, were dispensed with altogether after the Arab conquest of Persia, logograms are used in modern shorthand to represent common words. In addition, the numerals and mathematical symbols used in systems are logograms—1 one,2 two, + plus, = equals, and so on. In English, the ampersand & is used for and and et, % for percent, # for number, § for section, $ for dollar, € for euro, £ for pound, ° for degree, @ for at, etc.
All historical logographic systems include a dimension, as it is impractical to have a separate basic character for every word or morpheme in a language. In some cases, such as cuneiform as it was used for Akkadian, many logographic systems have a semantic/ideographic component, called determinatives in the case of Egyptian and radicals in the case of Chinese. In the case of Chinese, the vast majority of characters are a combination of a radical that indicates its nominal category. The Mayan system used logograms with phonetic complements like the Egyptian, Chinese scholars have traditionally classified the Chinese characters hanzi into six types by etymology. The first two types are single-body, meaning that the character was created independently of other characters, single-body pictograms and ideograms make up only a small proportion of Chinese logograms
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included.
The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history. They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy. It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, most notably and its Latin source oriens meaning east, is literally rising, deriving from Latin orior rise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, at this time, the Far East was known as the Upper Levant. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture. The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant. Two academic journals were launched, Journal of Levantine Studies, published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and The Levantine Review
An alphabet is a standard set of letters that is used to write one or more languages based upon the general principle that the letters represent phonemes of the spoken language. This is in contrast to other types of writing systems, such as syllabaries and logographies, the Proto-Canaanite script, known as the Phoenician alphabet, is the first fully phonemic script. Thus the Phoenician alphabet is considered to be the first alphabet, the Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Latin, Cyrillic and possibly Brahmic. Under a terminological distinction promoted by Peter T. Daniels, an alphabet is a script that represents both vowels and consonants as letters equally. In this narrow sense of the word the first true alphabet was the Greek alphabet, in other alphabetic scripts such as the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabic, letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants, such a script is called an abjad. A third type, called abugida or alphasyllabary, is one where vowels are shown by diacritics or modifications of consonantal letters, as in Devanagari.
The Khmer alphabet is the longest, with 74 letters, there are dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular being the Latin alphabet. Many languages use modified forms of the Latin alphabet, with additional letters formed using diacritical marks, while most alphabets have letters composed of lines, there are exceptions such as the alphabets used in Braille. Alphabets are usually associated with an ordering of letters. This makes them useful for purposes of collation, specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order and it means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of numbering ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements. The English word alphabet came into Middle English from the Late Latin word alphabetum, the Greek word was made from the first two letters and beta. The names for the Greek letters came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet, which meant ox, and bet, in the alphabet song in English, the term ABCs is used instead of the word alphabet.
Knowing ones ABCs, in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics about anything, the history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. These glyphs were used as guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections. Based on letter appearances and names, it is believed to be based on Egyptian hieroglyphs and this script had no characters representing vowels, although originally it probably was a syllabary, but unneeded symbols were discarded. An alphabetic cuneiform script with 30 signs including three that indicate the vowel was invented in Ugarit before the 15th century BC. This script was not used after the destruction of Ugarit, the Proto-Sinaitic script eventually developed into the Phoenician alphabet, which is conventionally called Proto-Canaanite before ca.1050 BC. The oldest text in Phoenician script is an inscription on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram and this script is the parent script of all western alphabets
Palestinian territories and occupied Palestinian territories are descriptions often used to describe the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are occupied or otherwise under the control of Israel. Israeli governments have maintained that the area involved is within territorial dispute, the extent of the territories, while subject to future negotiations, have frequently been defined by the Green Line. In December 2012, UN Secretariat communications replaced this by the term State of Palestine, the ISO adopted the name change in 2013. But, as of August 2015, the UN Security Council continues to treat Palestine as a non-sovereign entity, Israel occupied the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967 and has since maintained control. Previously, these territories had been occupied by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, in 1980, Israel officially absorbed East Jerusalem and has proclaimed the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. The inclusion, though never formally amounting to legal annexation, was condemned internationally and declared null, the Palestinian National Authority never exercised sovereignty over the area, although it housed its offices in Orient House and several other buildings as an assertion of its sovereign interests.
Israel shut them down in response to the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing, Israeli sovereignty, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. The cost of the occupation for Israel over four decades is estimated to amount to $50 billion, the World Bank estimates the annual cost in 2013 to the Palestinian economy of Israeli occupation at $3.4 billion. In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988,135 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine and it has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States. In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority, Israel still exercises full military control and, civil control over 61% of the West Bank.
The Oslo Accords established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore, the Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12 miles. In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, as a result, more than 3,000 Palestinian fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, however the international community considers the West Bank and the Gaza Strip still to be occupied by Israel. The Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007 divided the Palestinian territories politically, abbass Fatah largely ruled the West Bank and was recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority. In 2014, the two groups agreed to hold elections and form a compromise unity government. The 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict intervened, the unity government survived, there are disagreements over what the Palestinian territories should be called.
Other terms used to describe these areas include the disputed territories
Semitic people or Semitic cultures was a term for an ethnic, cultural or racial group who speak or spoke the Semitic languages. The terminology was first used in the 1770s by members of the Göttingen School of History, the term Semitic, together with the parallel terms Hamitic and Japhetic, is now largely obsolete outside of linguistics. However, in archaeology, the term is used informally as a kind of shorthand for ancient Semitic-speaking peoples. In the racialist classifications of Carleton S, some recent genetic studies have found that they have some common ancestry. The terms anti-Semite or antisemitism came by a route to refer more narrowly to anyone who was hostile or discriminatory towards Jews in particular. Steinthal summed up these predispositions as Semitism, and so Steinschneider characterised Renans ideas as anti-Semitic prejudice and he accused them of being liberals, a people without roots who had Judaized Germans beyond salvation. In 1879 Marrs adherents founded the League for Anti-Semitism, which concerned itself entirely with anti-Jewish political action, Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples Hamitic Japhetites Generations of Noah Anidjar, Gil.
Semitic genetics Semitic language family tree included under Afro-Asiatic in SILs Ethnologue, the south Arabian origin of ancient Arabs The Edomite Hyksos connection The perished Arabs The Midianites of the north Ancient Semitic peoples
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent the syllables or moras which make up words. This loosely corresponds to shallow orthographies in alphabetic writing systems, most syllabaries only feature one or two kinds of syllabograms and form other syllables by graphemic rules. Otherwise they are synthetic, if they vary by onset, nucleus or coda, or systematic, some scholars, e. g. Daniels, reserve the general term for analytic syllabaries and invent other terms as necessary. Some system provides katakana language conversion, in addition, the undecoded Cretan Linear A is believed by some to be a syllabic script, though this is not proven. Chinese characters, the script used for Sumerian and other languages. They are therefore referred to as logosyllabic. The contemporary Japanese language uses two syllabaries together called kana, namely hiragana and katakana, which were developed around 700. They are mainly used to some native words and grammatical elements, as well as foreign words.
Because Japanese uses mainly CV syllables, a syllabary is well suited to write the language, as in many syllabaries, vowel sequences and final consonants are written with separate glyphs, so that both atta and kaita are written with three kana, あった and かいた. It is therefore called a moraic writing system. Languages that use syllabaries today tend to have simple phonotactics, with a predominance of monomoraic syllables, few syllabaries have glyphs for syllables that are not monomoraic, and those that once did have simplified over time to eliminate that complexity. For example, the Vai syllabary originally had separate glyphs for syllables ending in a coda, the modern script has been expanded to cover all moras, but at the same time reduced to exclude all other syllables. g. Ko-no-so for Κνωσός Knōsos, pe-ma for σπέρμα sperma, the Cherokee syllabary generally uses dummy vowels for coda consonants, but has a segmental grapheme for /s/, which can be used both as a coda and in an initial /sC/ consonant cluster.
The languages of South Asia and Southeast Asia, as well as the Ethiopian Semitic languages, have a type of alphabet called an abugida or alphasyllabary, in the 19th century these systems were called syllabics, a term which has survived in the name of Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. In a true syllabary there may be graphic similarity between characters that share a common consonant or vowel sound, but it is not systematic or close to regular. For example, the characters for ke, ka, and ko in Japanese hiragana have no similarity to indicate their common k sound, compare abugida, where each grapheme typically represents a syllable but where characters representing related sounds are all similar graphically. For example, in Devanagari, an abugida, the characters for ke, ka and ko are के, का and को respectively. English, along many other Indo-European languages like German and Russian, allows for complex syllable structures
The Kilamuwa Stele is a 9th-century BC stele of King Kilamuwa, from the Kingdom of Yadiya. He claims to have succeeded where his ancestors had failed, in providing for his kingdom, the Kilamuwa Stele was discovered during the 1888-1902 German Oriental Society expeditions led by Felix von Luschan and Robert Koldewey. It is currently located in the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the stele is a 16-line text in the Phoenician language and written in an Old Aramaic form of the Phoenician alphabet. His left hand is draped at his side holding a wilted lotus flower. He is dressed in kings regalia with hat, and his stands at the beginning of the first nine lines of the text. The translation of the stele, I am Kilamuwa, the son of King Haya, King Gabar reigned over Yadiya but achieved nothing. Then came Bamah, and he achieved nothing and my own father, did nothing with his reign. My brother, did nothing and it was I, Kilamuwa. who managed to do what none of my ancestors had. My fathers kingdom was beset by powerful, predatory kings, all holding out their hands, but I raged amongst them like a fire, burning their beards and consuming their outstretched hands.
Only the Danunian kings overmastered me, I had to call on the King of Assyria to assist me, I, the son of Haya, ascended my fathers throne. Under their previous kings, the had howled like dogs, but I was a father, a mother and a brother to them. I gave gold and cattle to men who had never so much as seen the face of a sheep before and those who had never even seen linen all their lives I clothed in byssus-cloth from head to foot. I took the by the hand and in their souls they looked to me just as the orphan looks to his mother, whoever of my sons comes after me and interferes with this inscription, may he be dishonoured among the people. And if anyone should damage this inscription, Let Gabars god Baal-Samad destroy his head, together with Reχub-ʾEl, the Lord of the Palace. The actual text of the inscription in Hebrew font, אנך כלמו בר חיא, מלך גבר על יאדי ובל פעל. כן בתח ובל פעל. ואנך כלמו כר תמ מאש פעלח בל פעל הלפנים, כן בת אבי במתכת מלכם אדרים וכל שלח יד להלחם. וכת ביד מלכם כם אש אכלת זקן וכם אש אכלמ יד, ואדר עלי מלך דננים, ושכר אנך עלי מלך אשר. אנך כלמו בר חיא ישבת על כסא אבי לפן המלכם הלפנים יתלנן משכבימ כם כלבים, ואנך למי כת אב, ולמי כת אם, ולמי כת אח
The term Hebrew was not used for the language in the Bible, which was referred to as Canaanite or Judahite, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts. Biblical Hebrew is attested from about the 10th century BCE, and persisted through and beyond the Second Temple period, Biblical Hebrew eventually developed into Mishnaic Hebrew, which was spoken until the second century CE. There is evidence of regional dialectal variation, including differences between Biblical Hebrew as spoken in the northern Kingdom of Israel and in the southern Kingdom of Judah. Biblical Hebrew has been written with a number of different writing systems, the Hebrews adopted the Phoenician alphabet around the 12th century BCE, which developed into the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. This was retained by the Samaritans, who use the descendent Samaritan alphabet to this day, the Aramaic alphabet gradually displaced the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet for the Jews, and it became the source for the modern Hebrew alphabet. All of these scripts were lacking letters to represent all of the sounds of Biblical Hebrew, though these sounds are reflected in Greek and these scripts originally only indicated consonants, but certain letters, known by the Latin term matres lectionis, became increasingly used to mark vowels.
In the Middle Ages, various systems of diacritics were developed to mark the vowels in Hebrew manuscripts, of these, Biblical Hebrew possessed a series of emphatic consonants whose precise articulation is disputed, likely ejective or pharyngealized. Earlier Biblical Hebrew possessed three consonants which did not have their own letters in the system, but over time they merged with other consonants. The stop consonants developed fricative allophones under the influence of Aramaic, the pharyngeal and glottal consonants underwent weakening in some regional dialects, as reflected in the modern Samaritan Hebrew reading tradition. Biblical Hebrew had a typical Semitic morphology with nonconcatenative morphology, arranging Semitic roots into patterns to form words, Biblical Hebrew distinguished two genders, three numbers. Verbs were marked for voice and mood, and had two conjugations which may have indicated aspect and/or tense, the tense or aspect of verbs was influenced by the conjugation ו, in the so-called waw-consecutive construction.
Default word order was verb–subject–object, and verbs inflected for the number, pronominal suffixes could be appended to verbs or nouns, and nouns had special construct states for use in possessive constructions. The earliest written sources refer to Biblical Hebrew by the name of the land in which it was spoken, the Hebrew Bible shows that the language was called יהודית Judaean, Judahite. In the Hellenistic period Greek writings use the names Hebraios, Hebraïsti, Jews began referring to Hebrew as לשון הקדש the Holy Tongue in Mishnaic Hebrew. The term Classical Hebrew may include all pre-medieval dialects of Hebrew, including Mishnaic Hebrew, the term Biblical Hebrew refers to pre-Mishnaic dialects. The archeological record for the prehistory of Biblical Hebrew is far more complete than the record of Biblical Hebrew itself, Early Northwest Semitic materials are attested from 2350 BCE to 1200 BCE, the end of the Bronze Age. Hebrew developed during the half of the second millennium BCE between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, an area known as Canaan.
The earliest Hebrew writing yet discovered was found at Khirbet Qeiyafa, the kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BCE
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. The country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israels economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, next year, the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and it extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories is the worlds longest military occupation in modern times, efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in peace.
However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have successfully been signed, the population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2017 to be 8,671,100 people. It is the worlds only Jewish-majority state, with 74. 8% being designated as Jewish, the countrys second largest group of citizens are Arabs, at 20. 8%. The great majority of Israeli Arabs are Sunni Muslims, including significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins, other minorities include Arameans, Assyrians, Black Hebrew Israelites, Circassians and Samaritans. Israel hosts a significant population of foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia, including illegal migrants from Sudan, Eritrea. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish, Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member, with the 35th-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016.
The country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentage of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the third highest in Asia, in the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term Israeli to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel. The name Israel in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, jacobs twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. The earliest known artifact to mention the word Israel as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Islam