(CNN)Here is a look at Israel, which declared independence in 1948. It borders the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, the Red Sea, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in the Middle East. Since its founding, Israel has experienced conflict with its neighbors, mainly Arab and Muslim countries, and Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied territories.
(from the CIA World Fact Book)
Area: 20,770 sq km (about the size of New Jersey)
Israel is a parliamentary democracy comprised of legislative, executive and judicial branches.
November 2, 1917 - The British government expresses support for the establishment of a permanent Jewish state in Palestine with a letter called the Balfour Declaration.