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State of Israel > Details

Country Name
State of Israel
Geographical Area
7,992 square miles
7,590,758 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
Language   Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages. English is the most common second language and appears on road signs.
Religion   76.2% Jews by religion, 16.1% were Muslims, 2.1% Christians, 1.6% Druze
Government   Founded in 1948, Israel is a parliamentary democracy, with an elected prime minister and a cabinet made up of various government portfolios.

Head of Government   Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu; president: Shimon Peres (head of the state)
Embassy   American Embassy 27 Nablus Rd East Jerusalem Tel : (972) (2) 622-7200
Visas   Americans and Canadian citizens only need a valid passport to visit Israel. They don't need visas. Other nationals should contact the Israeli consulate in their area for more information. A tourist entering Israel is allowed to stay up to three months. To extend your stay after three months, contact the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
Health Risks   There are no vaccinations or immunizations requirements for Israel.
Clothing Suggestions   Dress is casual by day, but dressier wear may be necessary at some restaurants and night spots in the evening. Conservative dress is needed for religious sites.
Time Zone:   Seven hours later than Eastern Standard Time.
Banking / Exchange   Most banks are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; also from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays and the eves of major Jewish holidays. Bank branches in major hotels usually offer convenient additional banking hours. Foreign currency may be exchanged at the airport or at any bank and in many hotels throughout Israel.
Currency   New Israeli Shekel (NIS)
Electric Current   The electric current in Israel is 220 Volts AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged, but many of them can accommodate other varieties. Most luxury hotels provide hair-dryers and all hotels have sockets for U.S. shavers. Most other appliances require a converter or transformer that can be purchased at any hardware store in Israel.
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   Major credit cards-American Express, Diners' Club, Visa and MasterCard/ Access/Eurocard-are widely accepted throughout Israel. Holders of Visa or MasterCard/Access/Eurocard credit cards may withdraw funds at the foreign currency counters of affiliated banks or at certain ATMs.
Shopping   Stores are open Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., although some close for a midday break between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. On Fridays and the eves of major Jewish holidays, shops are open in the morning and close early in the afternoon. Muslim-owned stores are closed Fridays and those run by Christians are closed on Sundays.
Flea markets and bazaars: The market in Jaffa remains a venerable institution. All the old towns of Israel such as Akko and Nazareth, have bazaars, but the ultimate is to be found in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Weights & measures   Metric
How to shop Tax Fee  
National Airport   Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv (TLV), Jerusalem (JRS)
Major Tourist Attractions   Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Red Sea, Dead Sea
Tipping Suggestion   It is customary to tip hotel personnel, guides and drivers. A 15 percent tip is the average in restaurants. Tipping is not mandatory in taxis. It is customary to tip tour guides $6 to $8 per person per day on multiday tours and drivers $3 to $4 per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is $10 to $20 for the guide and $5 for the driver.
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