The Geography of the Land of Israel

August 16, 2018

The importance of the Land of Israel lies not only in its history, but deeply entwined in its geography.

Although Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, it lies among various geological, physiological and climatic elements, and is a connecting point between 3 continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

Mountains and plains, fertile land and desert are often minutes apart. The width of the country, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Dead Sea in the east, can be crossed by car in about 90 minutes; and the trip from Metulla, in the far North, to Eilat at the country’s southern tip takes about 6 hours.

Israel’s location has been of great strategic importance since the beginning of man.

The Land of Israel was inhabited from the Stone Age where the first cities of humanity were built. The land of Israel was forested in a natural forest and was inhabited by animals, including lions and other large animals. Many large cities were built here and the land has been inhabited continuously for thousands of years.

Important historical trading routes have passed through Israel, such as the “Sea Road” that connected Basra in southern Iraq to Cairo, Egypt, and passed along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea along which the cities of Jaffa and Ashkelon developed in Israel and the “Incense route”, an ancient trading route linking the Mediterranean world with Eastern and Southern sources of incense, spices and other luxury goods, stretching from Mediterranean ports across the Levant and Egypt through Northeastern Africa and Arabia to India and beyond.

Israel has a wide range of landscapes and climates in a relatively small area.

The landscape forms in Israel are diverse and were created due to the geological and geomorphological processes that shaped the landscape. These processes have also created unique landscapes in the world: The Dead Sea region is the lowest place in the world, The Dead Sea is the saltiest sea in the world, and the craters in the Negev are also unique and exclusive to Israel. The range of landscapes includes a high mountain range (the Hermon, the Galilee Mountains, Judea and Samaria mountains, the Negev mountains and the Eilat Mountains, which are different from the rest in the rock and at the geological age(, Basalt levels (in the Golan and the eastern Galilee), the Syrian-African rift extends from Israel to the Red Sea in the south, a relatively long coastal strip along the Mediterranean Sea and lowlands to the west to the Judean Hills in the central mountain belt.

The land of Israel is divided into 3 different climatic zones – Mediterranean climate (most of the central and northern parts of the Land of Israel), characterized by hot summer and low precipitation, fickle seasons and rainy winter (rarely snowy) and cold. Semi-arid climatic climate – a kind of transition climate between the Mediterranean climate and the desert climate, and the Desert climate – Most of the southern part of the country is located in an area of ​​desert climate and forms part of the global subtropical desert strip.

Weather in Israel is usually warm and great for traveling, characterized by hot and sunny summers, and by a long period of sunshine, with clear skies from May to September. The rains (where they occur) are concentrated from November to March.

Photo by Israel Bardugo.