Israel's Geography

Israel's Geography
Israel is located between the Mediterranean and the deserts of Syria and Arabia, in Southwest Asia. As part of its borders, Israel has the Jordan Valley rift (East), the mountains of Lebanon (North), Eilat (South) and obviously the Mediterranean (West). Even though Israel is a relatively small country, its landscape and climate are hugely varied. Furthermore, it has both the flair of modern cities combined with wildlife and many natural attractions.

Geographic regions
In essence, Israel is divided into the following main regions.

Coastal plain: Stretching from Rosh Ha'Nikra in the north to the Sinai Peninsula in the south. It counts with several water sources and the region has one of Israel’s most used and important routes. This region features cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa and it is composed of the Galilee, Akko, Carmel, Sharon, and Mediterranean plains.

Mountain region: Stretching from Lebanon (North) to Eilat Bay (South), its highest peaks are the Galilee's Mount Meron (roughly 1208 meters above sea level), Samaria's Ba'al Hatsor Mountain (roughly 1016 meters) and the Negev's Mount Ramon (1037 meters above sea level). The climate in the north is Mediterranean and rainy, whereas the southern section is a desert. Its main parts are the Galilee in the north, the Carmel, the hills of Samaria, the Judean hills and the Negev highlands. This region is also bordered by two major valleys: Jezreel, that separates the Galilee Mountains from the hills of Samaria; and the Be’er Sheva-Arad Rift, that separates the Judean hills from the Negev highlands.

Jordan Valley Rift: This rift extends from Metula, in the north, to the Red Sea in the south. It was caused as a result of seismic activity and it is part of the Afro-Syrian rift that extends from the Syrian-Turkish border to the Zambezi River in Africa. The Jordan (Israel’s largest river), flows through the valley includes the Sea of Galilee and the famous Dead Sea, also known as the lowest point on Earth.

Golan Heights: Located east of the Jordan River, these are the end of a large basalt plain, mostly located in Syria. Going north, you will find Mount Hermon. At 2224 meters above sea level, Mount Hermon constitutes Israel’s highest peak.

Rivers and Seas
The Jordan River, mentioned above, is 250 kilometers long and runs from Khula Valley, south through the Sea of Galilee and towards the Dead Sea. It originates in three short rivers, Dan, Hermon and Snit, which travel through a beautiful landscape that often attracts its visitors. There are also a few perennial rivers in the coastline plain, among them Taninim and Yarkon Rivers. Several streams descend from the mountainous regions in the north, and some create beautiful canyons though the Negev Landscape (for example: Amud, Tirtza, Prat, Kidron, and Arugot). Some of Israel’s most famous streams include: Besor, Ha’Arava, Paran, Tze’elim, and Tzin. Even though it some of Israel’s streams are seasonal, in the winter months, there is often danger of flooding in the Negev streams.

Nevertheless, this not only accounts for amazing natural beauty. Many Christian Holy Sites are located around the Sea of Galilee. Its biggest competitor, the Dead Sea, also attracts people due to the water’s regenerative properties. 

Flora and Fauna
Israel offers its visitors a surprising wealth in plant life. This is mainly due to the geographical importance Israel has and the climates it received from it. The variety of flora is much larger in Israel than many far bigger countries (approximately 2380 kinds of flora). Israel’s largest concentration of plant life can be found in the Mediterranean region, in the forms of thicket and undergrowth. Even though much of Israel has been deforested by the development of different cities and factories, there are remnants of indigenous forest in some mountainous regions like the Carmel and Meron mountains.

In the south, however, there are both desert and Mediterranean plant life as Israel features several botanical gardens. An example of this can be found at Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is located.


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