Israel Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Israel: Political System

According to EQUZHOU.NET, the State of Israel is a parliamentary democracy. There is no written constitution, but individual laws for sub-areas have a constitutional character. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Israel politics, and acronyms as well.

The unicameral parliament (the Knesset) consists of 120 members who are elected every four years. The president is elected every five years by direct election or by the Knesset. He appoints the Prime Minister, who is responsible for the formation of the executive branch. On June 13, 2007, the Knesset elected Shimon Peres (born 1923) as the 9th President of the State of Israel. The presidential term of office lasts 7 years. The 1994 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, together with Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin, succeeded Moshe Katzav, who lost his position on charges of rape.

The official name of the country is:

State of Israel

National anthem

The national anthem of Israel is called Hatikvah – The Hope and was made mandatory in 1948. The text is by Naftali Herz-Imber, the melody by Samuel Cohen. This is based on an old Moldovan folk song (“Cucuruz cu frunza-n sus”). The first bars are identical to a piece from the symphonic poem “Vltava” (“Die Moldau”) by Bedrich Smetana.

It reads in English:

In English translation In English translation
As long as deep in the heart,The soul of a Jew yearns,

And towards the East

An eye looks to Zion,

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

As long as there is stilla Jewish soul in the heart.

And to the east, forward,

The eye looks to Zion.

As long as our hope,

which bound us for two thousand years, is not lost:

to be a free people in our land,

in the land of Zion and in Jerusalem!

National flag of Israel

Based on flag descriptions by, the national flag of Israel has two blue stripes on top and bottom on a white background with a blue Star of David in the center. There are two meanings: The first says that the two stripes represent the two walls of water when Moses split the sea and in the middle is the people represented by the Star of David. In the second consideration, the two stripes represent the stripes of the Talit between which the Israeli people are located. The Star of David itself is the stamp on David’s shield during his fight against Goliath. Since then, he has become a symbol for the Israeli people.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Israel.

Israel: Significant People

Architects and builders

  • Zvi Hecker (born 1931)Zivi Hecker was born on May 31, 1931 in Krakow. He studied architecture in Haifa from 1950 to 1954 and painting from 1957 to 1957. His works are attributed to deconstructivism, which do justice to their task but at the same time act like sculptures. He was involved in the urban planning of Tel Aviv, Montreal and Philadelphia. He had received the German Critics’ Prize for Architecture in 1966.
  • Moshe Safdie (born 1938)Moshe Safdie was born on July 14th in Haifa. He had moved to Montreal, Canada as a teenager. But in 1967 he returned to Israel. In 1976 he became a professor at Harvard University. He became particularly well-known for his plans to rebuild the old city of Jerusalem and his plans for EXPO 67, which took place in Montreal from April 28 to October 27, 1967.

Visual artist

  • Yaakov Agam (born 1928)sculptor. Yaakov Agam was born on May 11, 1928 in Rishon LeZion in what is now Israel.He is a representative of the so-called kinetic art.
  • Kosso Eloul (born 1920)sculptor. Kosso Eloul was born on January 22nd, 1920 in Murom in what was then the Soviet Union.
  • He died on November 8, 1995 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Israel Hadany (born 1941)sculptor
  • Schmuel Hirszenberg (1865-1908)painter
  • Menashe Kadishman (born 1932)painter, draftsman, sculptor
  • Danny Karavan (born 1930)sculptor
  • Lea Nickel (1919-2005)abstract painter
  • Ephraim Lilien (1874-1925)painter
  • Abel Pann (1883-1963)painter
  • Reuven Rubin (1893-1974)painter


  • Daniel Barenboim (born 1942)pianist, conductor. Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires on November 15, 1942. In addition to Argentinian, he also has Spanish, Israeli and Palestinian citizenship. He gave his first concert in 1950 in Buenos Aires. In 1975 he became chief conductor of the Orchester de Paris and from 1991 to 2006 he was chief conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Almost at the same time – in 1992 – he was artistic director and general music director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin for life. Berkannt is among other things his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, founded in 1999, in which musicians from Egypt, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Israel, Palestine and Andalusia perform and perform together.
  • Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984)composer
  • Bart Berman (born 1938)pianist
  • Gary Bertini (1927-2005)conductor and composer. He founded the Israel Chamber Orchestra and directed the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra in Germany from 1983-91.
  • Hila Bronstein (born 1983)pop singer (Bro’Sis)
  • David Brozasinger
  • Matti Caspi (born 1949)singer
  • Sarit Hadad (born 1978)singer
  • Ofra Haza (1957-2000)singer
  • Eliahu Inbal (born 1936)conductor
  • Dana International (born 1972)singerThe transsexual singer won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998 and is committed to the rights of sexual minorities.
  • Amir Katz (born 1937)pianist
  • Liel Kolet (born 1987)singer
  • Zubin Mehta (born 1936)conductor, received the “Prize for Peace and Tolerance” from the UN in 1999
  • Shlomo Mintz (1957)violinist, violist and conductorHe led well-known orchestras at a young age and has received numerous awards.
  • Haim Moshe (born 1955)singer
  • Ester Ofarim (born 1941)singer
  • Itzhak Pearlman (born 1945)violinist
  • Noam Sheriff (born 1935)composer
  • Josef Tal (born 1910)composerHe received the Israeli State Prize (1971), the Art Prize of the City of Berlin (1975) and the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class (1985) for his work.
  • Pinhas Zuckerman (born 1948)violinist and conductor

Natural scientist

  • Israel Robert John Aumann (born 1930)mathematician. The honorary professor at numerous universities did research primarily in the field of game theory and received several awards for his economic work.
  • Jacob David Bekenstein (born 1947)physicist. Bekenstein is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and recipient of the Rothschild Prize, he is one of the founders of the thermodynamics of black holes and made important contributions to the connection between information and gravity.
  • Eli Bihamcryptology expert He developed the differential cryptanalysis together with Adi Shamir.
  • Aaron Ciechanover (born 1947)Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004
  • David Deutsch (born 1953)mathematician and physicist. In 1998 he received the Dirac Prize for his work in the field of quantum computers.
  • Adolf (Abraham Halevi) Fraenkel (1891-1965)mathematician. He became world famous for his theory of fuzzy sets and his main work “Introduction to Set Theory” (1919).
  • Avram Hershko (born 1937)Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004
  • Daniel Kahneman (born 1934)psychologist. He developed the “Prospect Theory” with Amos Tyersky and, together with Vernon L. Smith, received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002.
  • Abraham Lempelcomputer scientist. Some of the lossless algorithms that are used in data compression come from him.
  • Dr. Michael O. Rabin (born 1931)computer scientist. His services in the field of cryptology and automata theory are worth highlighting.For an introduction to nondeterminism he and Dana Scott received the Turing Prize for Computer Science in 1976. He developed the Rabin cryptosystem, based on a Miller’s method, the Miller-Rabin algorithm (1975) and, together with Yan Zong Bing, a data transmission method (2001).
  • Eliyahu Ripsmathematician. The mathematics professor worked mainly in the field of group theory. Together with Doron Witztum he discovered the controversial Bible code, which became world famous through Michael Drosnin’s book “The Bible Code”.
  • Nathan Seiberg (born 1956)physicist. He made important contributions in theoretical physics on topics of gauge theory and supersymmetry as well as in the field of string theory.
  • Adi Shamir (born 1952)cryptology expert. Together with Ron Rivest and Len Adleman, with whom he developed the RSA encryption method, he received the Turing Prize in 2002. In 1990 he developed differential cryptanalysis together with Eli Biham.
  • Daniel Shechtman (born 1941) Shechtman, bornin Tel Aviv, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry of 2011 for his discovery of quasicrystals. In these structures, the atoms are arranged in patterns that never repeat. Until it was discovered, this was considered impossible.
  • Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952)biochemist and diplomat. During the First World War, Weizmann developed a manufacturing process for the United Kingdom for acetone, which was urgently needed for the manufacture of explosives. He used his influence to support the Zionist movement.
  • Prof. Amotz Zahavi (1928)zoologist. In 1975, together with his wife, Prof. Avishag Kadman-Zahavi, he developed the so-called handicap principle as a sociobiological theory of evolution.


  • David Ben Gurion (1886-1973)State founder and first Israeli Prime Minister from 1948 to 1954 and again from 1955 to 1963
  • Theodor (Teddy) Kollek (1911-2006)Kollek was Lord Mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993 and campaigned for reconciliation between the Jews and Palestinians throughout his life. He was replaced in his office by Ehud Olmert after his election defeat in 1993. In 1985 he received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
  • Golda Meïr (1898-1978)Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974
  • Benjamin Netanyahu (born 1949)The very conservative politician Netanyahu from the Likud bloc is Prime Minister of Israel. From May 1996 to May 1999 he was Israeli Prime Minister and from 2002 to 2003 he was the country’s foreign minister. He was finance minister from 2003, but resigned from office in mid-2005 in protest at the Sharon government’s settlement policy.After some time as leader of the opposition, he became Prime Minister of Israel again on March 31, 2009.
  • Ehud Olmert (born 1945)Olmert was originally a Likud politician until he joined the “Kadima” party. The Kadima was founded by Ariel Sharon in autumn 2005 and was politically located between the Labor Party and the Likud. In 1993, after winning the election, Olmert replaced Teddy Kollek as Lord Mayor of Jerusalem and held the post until 2003. From that year he became Industry and Trade Minister in Ariel Sharon’s cabinet. He also held the post of Deputy Prime Minister. After the stroke of Sharon, he has been in office since January 4th and then became Prime Minister of the country on April 11th, 2006.
  • Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995)Prime Minister from 1974 to 1977. Together with Yassir Arafat and Shimon Peres, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. He was murdered by a right-wing extremist Jew during a peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995.
  • Shimon Peres (1923-2016)Prime Minister from 1995 to 1996. Together with Yassir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. On June 13, 2007, he was elected 9th President of Israel by 86 votes from the 120 members of the Knesset. His term of office is 7 years.
  • Ariel Sharon (1928-2014)Sharon was a general and later a politician and leader of the Likud party. He separated from the Likud and founded the Kadima party in autumn 2005, which was politically located between the Likud and the Labor Party. He was Israel’s foreign minister twice, once defense minister and from 2001 to 2006 Prime Minister of the country. His successor was Ehud Olmert. After a persistent vegetative state from January 4, 2006 as a result of a stroke, he died on January 11, 2014 of organ failure.
  • Mordechai Vanunu (born 1954)In 1985 he betrayed parts of the Israeli nuclear program to the journalist Peter Hounam of the British Sunday Times, was kidnapped from Rome to Israel by the Israeli secret service Mossad and sentenced there in 1986 to 18 years in prison. Even after his release in 2004, he still lives under supervision in Israel and is not allowed to leave the country. In 1987 he received the Alternative Nobel Prize for his commitment to peace.

Actors, directors

  • Hannah Azoulai (born 1960)director, actress. Hannah Azoulai was born in Beersheba on July 29, 1960 to Israeli parents who immigrated from Morocco. After graduating from high school, Azoulay-Hasfari did her compulsory service with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the local military theater. After her military service, she studied theater and acting at Tel Aviv University. In addition to her artistic work, she is a women’s rights activist and is committed to social justice and cultural diversity.
  • Uri Barbash (born 1946)director.
  • Amos Gitai (born 1950)film director, screenwriter and filmmaker
  • Shmuel Hasfari (1954)director and screenwriter.
  • Ephraim Kishon (1924-2005)director, filmmaker, including “Der Blaumilchkanal” (1969)
  • Daliah Lavi (born 1942)actress and singer
  • Samy Molcho (born 1936)mime artist and director The artist has written several internationally recognized books on body language.
  • Natalie Portman (born 1981)actress
  • Chaim Topol (born 1935)actor, Golden Globe Award 1971


  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970)Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in 1966 together with Nelly Sachs
  • Natan Alterman (1910-1970)poet
  • Jehuda Amichai (1925-2000)lyric poet. Amichai was one of the first to write in colloquial Hebrew and is considered the most important and most widely read modern Israeli poet.
  • Eli Amir (born 1937)writer
  • Aharon Appelfeld (born 1932)writer
  • Uri Avnery (1923-1018)journalist and writer. The peace activist and his wife Rachel received the alternative Nobel Prize in 2001.
  • Elazar Benyoetz (born 1937)poet and aphorist. In 1997 he received the Federal Cross of Merit
  • Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934)He is considered the Israeli national poet
  • Josef Chaim Brenner (1881-1921)writer
  • Inge Deutschkron (born 1922)Journalist and author. Inge Deutschkron was born on August 23, 1922 in Finsterwalde in what is now the state of Brandenburg. From January 1943, she lived illegally in Berlin and hid with her mother with non-Jewish friends, some of whom were members of the left-wing socialist resistance group Red Shock Troop. On January 30, 2013, she gave a speech in the German Bundestag on the occasion of the memorial service for the day of commemoration of the victims of National Socialism. In 1966 she received Israeli citizenship. Because of the anti-Semitism in German politics flaring up again in her opinion and the anti-Israel stance of the 1968 movement, she moved to Tel Aviv in 1972. Until 1988 she worked there as an editor for the newspaper Maariw. Since 2011 she lives in Berlin.
  • Leah Goldberg (1911-1970)writer
  • David Grossman (born 1954)writer
  • Batya Gur (1947-2005)writer
  • Zwi Jagendorf (born 1936)writer.
  • Marcel Janco (1895-1984)writer and co-founder of Dadaism
  • Anna Maria Jokl (1911-2001)writer, journalist and psychoanalyst
  • Moshe Katsav (also: Katsaw) (born 1945 in Iran)He was President of Israel from July 31, 2000. He resigned in June 2007 on charges of rape and sexual harassment of female employees. On December 30, 2010, he was convicted of two cases of rape of an employee, of sexual harassment in other cases, and of obstruction of justice. On March 22, 2011, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. He went into custody on December 7, 2011 after his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. But on December 21, 2016, he was released early.
  • Etgar Keret (born 1967)Keret is one of the most popular writers in modern Israel. He is considered a chronicler as well as a storyteller. In his honor, a Polish architect built a narrow “Keret House” in the former Warsaw ghetto, in which he himself stayed. His ultra-orthodox sister with 11 children is not allowed to read his books on the instructions of the rabbi. His parents both survived the Holocaust – the father in a cave in Belarus and the mother as a butt collector of German soldiers in the Warsaw ghetto – at the age of six. His work translated into German. “Suddenly there is a knock at the door”
  • Ephraim Kishon (1924-2005)writer, satirist, many of his books have also been translated into German.
  • Yitzhak Laor (born 1948)writer
  • Uri Orlev (born 1931)children’s book author, received the Hans Christian Andersen Prize
  • Amoz Oz (born 1939)writer and co-founder of the peace movement “Peace Now”
  • Naomi Schemer (1931-2004)poet, songwriter
  • Abraham Schlonsky (1900-1973)poet
  • David Shahar (1926-1977)writer
  • Meir Shalev (born 1948)writer
  • Joshua Sobol (born 1939)writer
  • Shaul Tschernichowsky (1875-1943)poet
  • Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)Writer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. He was proposed in 2007 as a possible president and successor to President Moshe Katsav, who had been talked about for rape and sexual harassment; but he turned down a candidacy. The Romanian-born Wiesel survived concentration camp imprisonment in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. After his liberation by the Americans on April 11, 1945, he lived in Israel for a while and reported on the establishment of the state for the French newspaper L’Arche. From 1952 he worked in Paris as a correspondent for the Jedi’ot Acharonot newspaper, which was published in Tel Aviv at the time. For this newspaper he moved to New York from 1956 and worked there as a reporter at the UNO. He remained in the United States and became a US citizen in 1963.
  • Avraham B. Yehoshua (born 1936)writer


  • Haim Revivo (born 1972)football player
  • Ronny Rosenthal (born 1963)football player
  • Roman Dzindzichashvili (born 1944)chess master
  • Boris Gelfand (born 1968)chess master
  • Emil Sutovsky (born 1977)world class chess player
  • Tatiana Jakowlewna Satulowskaja (born 1935)chess grandmaster
  • Gal Fridman (born 1975)windsurfer. He won the first Israeli Olympic gold medal in 2004.

Theologians and philosophers

  • Martin Buber (1878-1965)religious philosopher.
  • Shalom Ben-Chorin (1913-1999)journalist and religious scholar
  • Jeschajahu Leibowitz (1903-1994)religious philosopher and biochemist
  • Elias Chacour (born 1939)Israeli-Arab-Greek-Catholic priest
  • Naftali Herz Tur-Sinai (1886-1973)philologist and Bible interpreter. The German Bible interpretation of the Old Testament comes from Tur-Sinai.

Other people

Uri Geller (born 1946)

stage magician. Uri Geller was born on December 20, 1946 in Tel Aviv as the son of Austro-Hungarian parents. He became known for bending spoons due to his supposed psychic powers. He lives in the village of Sonning near Reading in Berkshire, England, in a mansion modeled on the White House in Washington.

Amira Hass (born 1956)

journalist. For her reports, in which she speaks out against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, she was named one of the “50 World Press Freedom Heroes” by the International Press Institute in 2000, and she also received the “Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize” “from UNESCO.

Arna Mer Khamis (1929-1995)

She stood up for the Palestinian youth in the Jenin refugee camp and was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1993.

Felivia Langer (1930-2018)

lawyer. The human rights activist received the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1990.

Gilad Schalit (born 1986) Corporal Shalit,

who comes from the village of Hila in northern Israel, was kidnapped on June 25, 2006 by Palestinian fighters on the border with the Gaza Strip. Against the release of 1,000 Palestinians, he was released on October 18, 2011 via Egypt to Israel. He has since been promoted to Chief Sergeant in the Reserve.

Oskar Schindler (1908-1974)

The industrialist who became known to a wide audience through the Steven Spielberg film “Schindler’s List” saved an estimated 1,200 Jewish slave laborers from certain murder in the fascist extermination camps during the Second World War. His tomb is in Jerusalem.

Israel: plants

General overview

Over 2,800 different plant species have been counted in Israel. Most of these species belong to genera that can survive long periods of drought.

The over 200 million trees planted since 1948 include oaks, deciduous trees, eucalyptus trees, citrus trees and conifers. Other trees are pine, cedar, acacia, and tamarisk. While laurel forests grow in the north, there is bush vegetation in the area around Be’er Sheva.

Wild tulips, irises and date palms grow in the south of the country. It is native to crocus and the poisonous sea onion. In Israel one will find honeysuckle tendrils, plane trees and in the dry valleys of the Negev also terebinths.

Sycamore trees are characterized by their bark, which crumbles into more or less large plates every year, and by their fruits, which grow in dense, spherical and unisexual heads. The color of the plane tree is light yellow under the bark, creating a colored impression of the trunk. Their leaves are similar to those of the maple. Another feature is the trunk dividing relatively early, so that the branches are already formed just above the ground.

In the spring the rock rose and the gorse bloom, in October and November cyclamen and anemones. The rock rose is a dense shrub that is 1 to 2 m tall and has an aromatic scent. Its dark green leaves are less on the upper side, but densely hairy on the underside and have a rolled edge. The special thing about this plant is that its mostly white flowers lose their petals after a few hours. But since the rock rose always grows in large groups, you can still observe its bloom between June and August.

Other plants are wild flowers and lupins. The latter are from the family of the butterflies and grow up to 1.50 m high. They bloom between June and August with 50 to 80 blue flowers arranged in a cluster. The leaves are fingered ten to fifteen. It grows preferentially on embankments and next to highways. Since lupins are good users of nitrogen, they are often planted to improve the soil. However, there are also species that are poisonous, such as the many-leaved lupine.

A plant of particular importance is the prickly pear, which grows on almost every corner in Israel. Another name for the cactus is Sabra, which is also a name for the Jewish Israelis born in the country. This leads back to the fruits of the prickly pear, so-called prickly pears, which are prickly on the outside but very sweet and juicy on the inside.


The papyrus bush can certainly be counted among the useful plants, even if it was used much more in the past than it is today. The papyrus is a perennial, grassy plant from the sour grass family. It becomes 1 – 3 m high and has a woody, aromatic and creeping rhizome. The leaves are fine, grass-like and are arranged in a crest at the end of the stem. In the past, different parts of plants were used to make headbands, sandals, boxes, boats and ropes. The dried roots were used as heating material and the pulp of the stem was boiled and eaten. The best known is certainly the production of papyrus, a writable material, from the pulp. Papyrus is considered to be the forerunner of today’s paper.

The most common crops are citrus fruits, bananas, carambola, cotton, tobacco, grapes, dates, figs, olives, plums and almonds.

Medicinal plants

The flea seed, which is also known under the name “ribwort”, is an annual, upright herb, the leaves of which are long and narrow. In its shell, the psyllium contains mucilage, which swells strongly in the presence of water and thus stimulates the bowel movement. For this reason, they are often used for constipation, as well as for diseases in which a soft stool is desired. They also have a cholesterol-lowering effect, albeit a very weak one.

The artichoke, a perennial plant from the daisy family, has long been known as a medicinal plant and is very often used that way. It has large, thistle-like leaves that are gray-green on the upper side and felt-white on the underside and very large purple-green flower heads. However, it does not exist as a wild plant, but only as a cultivated plant, which in addition to Israel also exists in Greece, Morocco, Algeria, Italy and France is grown. The healing effect lies in the leaves and roots, which have a digestive effect and also have a beneficial effect on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. Infusions, juices, tinctures and teas are used for indigestion, bloating, nausea and a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen. The artichoke also helps with fat digestion as it stimulates the production of bile.

Poisonous plants

The sea onion from the lily family develops flower candles up to 1.50 m high from numerous white flowers. The onion usually protrudes a bit from the earth. After the flowering period, dark green, 30 – 100 cm long and narrow leaves develop from the onion. Since the onion contains steroid glycosides that act on the heart, it is not only highly toxic, but is also used as a medicinal product in doses. Its toxicity also makes it an effective rat poison. The symptoms of poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat. The sea onion grows mainly on dry and rocky slopes, on sandy, coastal soils and in savannas.

Another poisonous plant is the many-leaved lupine. It contains 1 – 1.5% alkaloids and the glycoside lupine and thus has an exciting or paralyzing effect on the central nervous system. The symptoms of poisoning are salivation, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, slow heart rate and irregular heartbeat. In very severe cases, paralysis can begin in the legs and spread to fatal respiratory paralysis.

Introduced plants

The home of the psyllium is the Mediterranean and Western Asia. In addition to Israel , it is also cultivated in Cuba, India, Japan, Pakistan, Spain, southern Brazil and Russia.

Israel: animals


In total there are about 100 species of mammals in Israel. These include gazelles (Darkas gazelles), foxes, wild cats, ibexes, leopards, wolves, the striped hyena, Persian half donkey and Somali wild ass, the golden jackal, porcupines and hedgehogs.

The Asiatic wild ass was considered extinct but has been successfully reintroduced. What is striking about him are the longer legs. He has a light-blond fur, which is often slightly reddish, and a short, brown-colored mane. A dark brown line runs across his back. It reaches a shoulder height of up to 130 cm and a weight of 160 – 180 kg.

The Afghan fox, which is quite common in Israel and under strict hunting protection, is one of the smallest members of the dog family with a shoulder height of 30 cm and a weight of 1 kg. What is striking about him is his almost cat-like physique with a 40 cm long bushy tail and his large ears. The nocturnal Afghan fox is rather a shy animal and lives in the Judean desert and in the central and southern areas of the Negev desert. There it feeds mainly on insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, ants and termites, as well as melons and grapes. Mice, lizards, small snakes and young birds are also rarely on the menu.

Wild cats include crawling cats, black cats and the slender, long-legged pipe cat, which belongs to the subfamily of small cats. It is colored sand-brown, red-brown or gray-brown on the top and whitish on the underside. There are dark stripes on the limbs. It lives near bodies of water and wetlands such as high grass corridors, riparian trees and reed thickets. Her predilection for reeds gave her the name.

The gazelles are made up of the Edmi and Dorkas gazelles represented. The small and delicate Dorcas gazelle is one of the smallest gazelle species. The bucks reach a weight of 16 kg, the females around 15 kg with a shoulder height of 55 – 65 cm. The Dorcas gazelle is very slender, has long legs, large eyes and finely curved horns, which are significantly smaller in females than in males. She is active in the evening and early dawn and spends the rest of the time ruminating in the shade of the trees. Their diet consists of leaves, flowers, buds and fruits of the acacia tree, the mimosa and the caper bushes. It covers its fluid requirements by consuming water-storing desert plants and by absorbing dew. The Dorcas gazelle prefers flat stretches of land as their place of residence.

Mammals also include the Mediterranean horseshoe bat from the horseshoe bat family. This bat has a head body length of about 5 cm and a wingspan of 30 cm. Their distinguishing feature is a membranous nose attachment that surrounds the nostrils and extends to the forehead. Like all bats, it sees with its ears and uses the echo alignment to orient itself by emitting ultrasonic signals through its nose. It spends most of the night in flight, looking for nocturnal insects such as moths, netwings and mosquitos.

Reptiles (without snakes)

There are about 80 native reptile species in Israel.

These include chameleons, snakes, as well as the bright green emerald lizard. With a body length of around 50 cm is one of the four largest lizards in the world, even if 2/3 of them are on the tail. Their diet consists of insects, spiders, worms and snails. A special feature that it has in common with some other lizard species is that it can actively detach its tail from its body in a dangerous situation. This wriggles for around 20 minutes and thus distracts the robber from the fleeing lizard. After a while the tail grows back, but then it can no longer be separated. The green lizard inhabits mostly dry terrain with a lot of sunlight, meadows with bushes, scree slopes, light hedges and rocky slopes.

The European pond turtle has a shell length of less than 25 cm, rarely 30 cm. Her belly armor has a transverse joint, which enables her to fold this armor in front and behind in case of danger and thus protect herself from predators. Their habitat is limited to standing or flowing water with dense bank vegetation. Their diet consists mainly of animal food such as tadpoles, small frogs, newts, water snails, crabs, dead or dying fish. In addition to Israel, she is also in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, the Iberian Peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Sicily, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Northern Iran, Cyprus and Northern Lebanon. But despite this widespread distribution, the number of European pond turtles is in decline. The common or European chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) is relatively common. At the seashores finds the loggerhead turtle and the green turtle.


Of the 45 species of snakes in the country, 10 are poisonous.

Venomous snakes

– Arabian sand rasselotter

– Avicennaviper

The Avicennaviper (Cerastes vipera) has a length between 35 and a maximum of 50 cm. Their basic color is sand-yellow to red-brown with rust-brown spots on the back and the flanks; the head is undrawn and the belly is light yellow.

– Lizard snake

– Horned viper

– Lebanese mountain otter

The Lebanese mountain otter (Montivipera bornmuelleri) reaches a length between 50 to (rarely) 75 cm. Their basic color ranges from gray to gray-brown to a rather dark brown. Their venom affects the blood (haemotoxic)

– Moilanatter

The Moilanatter (Malpolon moilensis)

Eastern lizard snake

The eastern lizard snake (Malpolon insignitus) has the following two subspecies, Malpolon insignitus insignitus and Malpolon insignitus fuscus. The subspecies Malpolon insignitus insignitus occurs in Israel.

– Palestine aviper

Black desert cobra

The black desert cobra (Walterinnesia aegyptia) occurs in northern Israel. The snake reaches a length of 90 to 120 cm. The basic color of the shiny scales varies from dark brown to black, with the belly shields being lighter. Their venom is very effective and blocks the acetylcholine receptors, which blocks the electrical transmission of impulses in the nerves

Non-poisonous or not very poisonous snakes

– Crowned Schnauzennatter

The Crowned Schnauzennatter (Lytorhynchus diadema) is a very small snake.

The males reach a length between 15 to 20 cm, while the females rarely grow larger than 20 to 25 cm.

Their basic color is okker with black pigments. So it is well adapted to desert life.

Worm snake The European worm snake (Xerotyphlops vermicularis) – also known as dumb-eye – is a very small snake with a length between 20 and 30 cm. It is reminiscent of a large earthworm. It lives mostly underground and feeds mainly on ants.

– Moilanatter

The Moilanatter (Malpolon moilensis)

Poisonous animals (without snakes)

The violin spider, better known under the name “Brown Recluse”, is highly poisonous. They are usually brown in color and reach a size of 8 to 15 mm. Above all, they are nocturnal and very shy and only bite when there is strong physical contact. As a shelter, they look for dark spots under stones, in cracks or even under leaves. You should also be careful of scorpions.


There are seven species of amphibians native to Israel, while other species have been introduced by humans, including the tree frog (Hyla japonica). The Israeli disc beak (Latonia nigriventer) is endemic, so it only occurs here. The Asian fire salamander (Salamandra infraimmaculata) only lives on Mount Hermon. The green toads (Bufotes variabilis) and the sea frog (Pelophylax bedriagae) are more common.


Israel is considered to be the second most important gathering point for migratory birds that stop here.

The bird species include honey buzzards, pelicans, warblers, Firecrest, cow – and Western Reef Heron, spoonbills, flamingos, bearded vulture, steppe eagle, Desert Hawk, collar Frankoline, various types of flight chickens, the Sociable Lapwing, racing birds, Kapptäubchen and two kingfisher.

A ground-living bird is the Houbara Bustard. It has a total length of 60 – 65 cm and a wingspan of 1.70 m. the males wear black and white neck feathers that can be spread to a collar, which are not found in the females. The bustard feeds on both vegetable and animal substances. Vegetable ones include tubers, onions, berries, fruits, flowers, and seeds. Grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, snails, ants, termites, small lizards and snakes make up the animal part of its diet.


There are mosquitoes, flies, wasps, bees, circacades and hornets. There are also over 135 species of butterflies in Israel.

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