According to ehistorylib, in 2005, Israel had a population of just over 7 million people and a GDP of $151 billion. The economy was largely based on services, with the largest sectors being finance, technology, and tourism. Unemployment rates were low at around 8%, while poverty levels remained quite low with an estimated 14% of the population living below the poverty line.
Foreign relations in 2005 were generally positive with Israel being a member of the United Nations and various international organizations. Israel maintained diplomatic ties with many countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. In addition, Israel sought to improve its regional influence through increased economic ties with other Middle Eastern nations.
Politically, Israel was a parliamentary democracy during this time period with executive power vested in the Prime Minister who was elected by Parliament every four years. The Prime Minister had authority over foreign policy decisions and could veto any legislation passed by Parliament. Furthermore, there were three branches of government: Executive (Prime Minister), Legislative (Parliament) and Judicial (Supreme Court). These branches worked together to ensure that laws were properly enforced throughout the country.
Israel. According to countryaah, Jerusalem is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Israel. Israel’s political map was radically redesigned during the year. On January 10, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Knesset’s (Parliament’s) approval of the government coalition with The Labor Party, which would allow him to evacuate all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and four settlements on the West Bank, despite fierce opposition. The leader of the Labor Party, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, became Deputy Prime Minister of the new government. The issue of evacuation divided the country and even Sharon’s own Conservative party Likud. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his post as finance minister in protest. The evacuation was carried out on August 15-23 under quieter conditions than expected and considerably faster. A total of 8,500 people were evacuated from the Gaza Strip and close to 700 from the West Bank. They settled either along the Mediterranean coast or in other settlements on the West Bank. Sharon received praise from many of the world’s leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. However, several critics pointed out that the evacuation was an effective way for Sharon to avoid a problem area while picking political points. In the fall, Israel was exposed to rocket fire from positions inside the Gaza Strip and responded with air strikes. Otherwise, the security situation improved during the year. 45 Israelis, including 37 civilians, were killed in terrorist attacks, which was a radical reduction compared to 2004.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym IL stands for the country of Israel and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
In November, Amir Peretz, leader of the country’s largest trade union Histadrut, was appointed new leader of the Labor Party. Shortly thereafter, Sharon decided to leave Likud, the party he co-founded in 1973, and instead start a new middle party under the name Kadima (National Responsibility). Several leading Likud politicians followed Sharon. In December, Netanyahu was appointed new leader of Likud. Prior to the 2006 election year, there were thus three large parties with widely differing plans. Likud also wanted to incorporate the occupied areas with Israel Kadima wanted to accommodate additional settlements and, at the same time – contrary to a ruling from the equivalent of the Justice Chancellor – strengthen the grip on East Jerusalem and other areas within the so-called security barrier that I was building. The Labor Party, under Peretz, focused mainly on domestic policy issues and turned to the country’s poor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Israel April 27-28. It was the first time a head of state for Russia or the Soviet Union visited the country.
1990 Gulf War
The political situation in the area changed fundamentally when Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Israel did not get allowed to join the anti-Iraqi alliance that the United States put together. That was the condition for bringing the Arab countries into the alliance. Meanwhile, Israel was preparing for war. The state of emergency and curfew were declared in the Israeli occupied territories. In response to the Allied bombings of Iraq, on January 17, the country launched a firing squad of Israel with Scud missiles. The attack was aimed at forcing Israel into the war and thus breaking the alliance, but it failed. For the first time in Israel’s history, the defense of the country was in the hands of North American soldiers who manned the Patriot anti-missile batteries to fire the Scud missiles. The Iraqi government also failed to link the solution to the Gulf conflict with a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Yet a joint North American-Soviet declaration of March 91 expressed hope of reaching a negotiated solution to the latter conflict. Although the wording was very airy, it was sharply rejected by the Israeli side.
When the Gulf War was over, the United States launched diplomatic probes centered on a “peace of earth” proposal. Two months later, Syria and Lebanon signed an agreement on “brotherhood, cooperation and coordination” in Damascus. Israel saw the agreement as a military threat from Syria on its northern border. This area containing many springs and rivers is known as the “water tank”.
Israel asked the United States for $ 10 billion in loans to alleviate the economic situation that was strained by the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union. Acc. the official records were immigration of 250-400,000 in the years 1989-91. The government began resettling the immigrants in new settlements in the occupied West Bank. Despite attempts to create work for immigrants, unemployment reached 91% at 91%. However, as Washington was interested in promoting peace talks in the region, it was demanded that the funds not be used for new settlements in the occupied territories.
1991 Difficult Peace Process
The building of new settlements and houses in the occupied territories for Soviet Jews thus became a double-edged sword for the Shamir government. While, on the one hand, it was important for the US Congress to approve the loans in order to continue the settlement policy, the Palestinians and Arab countries demanded that it be suspended and peace negotiations opened instead. On October 30, 91, a conference on peace in the Middle East led by the United States and the former Soviet Union was launched in Madrid. Shortly before, hundreds of thousands of Israelis had demanded their government start negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinians and Arab neighbors. Delegations from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel attended the conference. The Palestinians were part of the Jordanian delegation when Israel refused to negotiate directly with them.
The Arab countries followed the “land of peace” policy. It was rejected by Israel, which in turn declared itself willing to discuss a form of self-government for the Palestinian population in the occupied territories as a temporary solution over 5 years. The proposal triggered a crisis in the ruling Likud coalition. The Tehiya and Moladet parties from the extreme right wing left the coalition, and Shamir no longer had a parliamentary majority.
At the request of Israel and the United States, the United Nations General Assembly canceled a 1975 resolution defining Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” In February 92, Israel bombed Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon and killed the leader of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah group, Abas Musawi. It triggered a wave of violence along the country’s northern border. The Israeli soldiers were ordered to fire without warning against any Palestinians carrying weapons. Furthermore, the government encouraged the formation of ” death patrols ” in the Occupied Territories through a change in the Criminal Code that granted immunity to participants in such groups.
On June 23, 92, the Labor Party won a decisive victory in the parliamentary elections, and Yitzhak Rabin was named prime minister. The construction of homes in the occupied territories was immediately halted, and the United States therefore vetoed its loan guarantees to Israel. Tel Aviv also launched a combined military land, air and sea operation against Hezbollah’s and PFLP’s bases in southern Lebanon. In 6 days, 130 were killed, 520 wounded and 15 villages leveled. Hundreds of thousands were sent on the run.