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INTRODUCING ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Local Name: יִשְׂרָאֵל
Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‬; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Israel occupied the Palestinian 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 ruled by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, since the 1948 founding of Israel. 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 and void" by the United Nations Security Council. The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations, the international legal and humanitarian bodies and the international community regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories. 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. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention.