Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, Yisrā'el), officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medīnat Yisrā'el), is a parliamentary democracy in the Middle East, on the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east, Egypt in the southwest, and Palestine in various places, and it contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. In its Basic Laws Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic State; it is the world's only Jewish-majority state.
On November 29th, 1947, the League of Nations Executive Council recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of Mandatory Palestine. On May 14th, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel," a state independent upon the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, May 15th, 1948.
Israel's capital, financial center, and most populous is Tel Aviv. The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2013 to be 6,598,900 people. The majority of the population is Jewish; minorities include various ethnic and ethno-religious denominations such as Arabs, Russians, Maronites, Samaritans, Black Hebrew Israelites, Armenians, Circassians and others.
Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel's unicameral legislative body. It is a developed country and an OECD member. Israel is also a member of the League of Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.