From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel
Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, Yisra’el), officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info), Medinat Yisra’el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل, Dawlat Isrā’īl), is a country in Asia located on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. The modern state of Israel has its roots in the land of Israel, which has been central to Judaism for over three thousand years and, more recently, significant to other Abrahamic religions. In 1948, after the United Nations approved the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab, Israel declared its independence. The new country’s victory in the subsequent Arab-Israeli War expanded the borders of the Jewish state beyond those conceived by the UN Partition Plan. Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, with confrontations including the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. In recent year Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and there have been efforts to resolve the conflict with the Palestinian-Arab population.