One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A country in the Middle East, on the Mediterranean Sea; population 8,100,000 (estimated 2015); languages, Hebrew (official), English, Arabic; capital (not recognized as such by the United Nations), Jerusalem.
The modern state of Israel was established as a Jewish homeland in 1948, on land that was at that time part of the British mandated territory of Palestine. Israel was immediately attacked by the surrounding Arab states, which it defeated. The continuing conflict with the neighbouring Arabs, mainly over the rights of the Palestinians displaced from their homes or living under Israeli rule, has caused continual tension and intermittent terrorist and military activity. Further wars occurred in 1956, 1967, and 1973, which resulted in Israeli occupation of eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. In 1993 Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed an agreement for limited Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but this proved unsuccessful in bringing about an end to conflict. See also Palestine
1940s: from Israel.
1The Hebrew nation or people. According to tradition they are descended from the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob (also named Israel).
2The northern kingdom of the Hebrews (c.930–721 BC), formed after the reign of Solomon, whose inhabitants were carried away to captivity in Assyria.See also Judah (sense 2)
Old English: from Hebrew Yiśrā'ēl ‘he that strives with God’ (see Gen. 32:28).
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