The State of Israel is a small, parliamentary democracy of 8,002,300 people, situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The major urban centers are the capital, Jerusalem with a population of approximately 801,000 people, the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv with 3,405,000 and Haifa with 268,000. Important industries are software, telecommunications, hi-tech, bio-tech, tourism, precision instruments, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
Until recently, Israel’s natural resources were limited to potash, phosphates, bromine and salts, found in the Dead Sea area. In the last few years, Israel has begun developing off-shore gas fields such as the Tamar and Leviathan Fields, and it is expected that the country has enough gas reserves to be a net energy exporter for many years to come.