Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 12:57 UK

Facts and figures: Israel at 60

Reglious mix - 1947 vs 2007

Most Israeli citizens are from families of former Diaspora Jews who returned to the land of their forefathers in the 20th Century. Many fled discrimination and persecution in Europe and the Middle East for the state founded in 1948.

Jewish immigrants by continent

More than one million Muslim and Christian Arabs also have Israeli nationality, a sizeable and growing proportion of Israel's population of seven million.

Immigration is an important factor in Israel maintaining its identity as a Jewish state, but Jewish immigration has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, with fewer than 20,000 Jews arriving in 2007.

About four million Palestinians live in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The settlements that Israel has built in the West Bank are home to around 430,000 people.

Immigration of Jews - 1948-2006


Weatlh comparison

Since 1948, wars with Arab neighbours, high government spending and soaring inflation have put severe pressure on the economy.

exports 2006

The economy has seen rapid growth since the early 1990s. This is in part due to the influx of highly educated Eastern Europeans after the fall of communism and increasing foreign investment, especially in the high-tech industry.

Israel receives substantial direct economic aid from the United States. This totals approximately $3bn annually - $1.2bn in economic aid and $1.8bn in military aid.

While trade in fruits has declined, the high-tech industry is booming.


military spending as % of GDP

Much of the history of Israel since 1948 has been one of conflict between Israel, its neighbours and the Palestinians.

Military spending on maintaining the occupation and infrastructure spending on building the settlements has also been very high.

Since 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, many living in UN-controlled refugee camps.

Fatalities since 2000 intifada

29 September 2000 to 31 March 2008

  Occupied Territories Israel
Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces 4,608 67
Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians 44 0
Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians 234 481
Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians 242 87
Foreign citizens killed by Palestinians 17 37
Foreign citizens killed by Israeli security forces 10 0
Palestinians killed by Palestinians 577 0

Palestinian refugees - December 2006

Region Number of camps Registered families in camps Registered refugees in camps Registered refugees
Jordan 10 63,591 328,076 1,858,362
Lebanon 12 50,806 215,890 408,438
Syria 9 26,645 119,055 442,363
West Bank 19 39,895 186,479 722,302
Gaza Strip 8 93,074 478,272 1,016,964
Total 58 274,011 1,327,772 4,448,429

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