Moving to Israel
Israel houses nearly 8 million people situated on the Mediterranean coast of western Asia. Israel is considered to be the Holy Land that God promised to Abraham by many of the world\'s largest religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai Faith. Moses is believed to have later led the Hebrew Israelites to the area, which they conquered from the Canaanites. At times, they were subjected to many of the neighboring peoples and empires that worshipped many pagan gods.
The State of Israel, which is situated in the Middle East, has a total land area of 8,367 square miles. It shares land borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. The nation of 8,296,000 million people is comprised of Jews (75.3%), Arabs (20.7%) and other nationalities (4%). Minorities in Israel include Armenians, South Asians and Africans.
The government of Israel is a parliamentary republic presently headed by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The 120-member Knesset parliament passes laws, elects the officials in the executive arm and supervises the operations of the government. The main administrative districts or mehozot include the capital city of Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. The capital Jerusalem is the largest municipality with a population of 773,800 residents and a total land area of 49 square miles. Business and technology parks are situated in the three metropolitan areas: Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er-Sheva.
Israel is one of the most advanced economies in the Middle East, with the second-largest number of start-up enterprises in the world. Each year, thousands of local and foreign workers apply for jobs in high-tech companies across the country. The MATAM Hi-Tech Park in Haifa offers jobs to over 8,000 skilled workers in telecommunications, data storage, cyber security and nanotechnology. Some of the international companies operating in MATAM include IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google and Philips. In September 2013, the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) in the city of Be’er-Sheva was inaugurated to be Israel’s next Silicon Valley.
Presently, Israel is going through some tensions with Palestine and which has led to dangerous acts of terrorism that involve land mines and casualties. Expats looking to immigrate will find that they are advised to be on high alert and exercise extreme caution when it comes to moving to Israel.
Expat workers (accounting for 40% of the total population) are offer job opportunities in other sectors. Israel’s academic institutions and research universities are in the market for top-notch lecturers and research staff. Tourism is also a key sector in the Jewish state. In 2013, a record of 3.54 million foreign tourists travelled to the country primarily to visit religious and archaeological places, including the Western Wall located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Middle Eastern nation also has the world’s highest number of museums per capita.
Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic though English is widely used in business and tourism. English-speakers, natives or not, are in demand in hospitals and large industrial corporations. Expats may also venture into language tutorials for young children and professionals. As Israel is going through a period of unrest, job opportunities in major areas may be challenging to locate.
The average salary in Israel currently stands at 7,000.00 - 9,700.00 NIS. Expats are entitled to the same benefits afforded to Israeli employees such as private health insurance coverage and housing. The law also mandates employers to provide their employees transportation, either through a transport service or allowance. Expats moving to Israel are advised to be alert and prepare for any extreme emergency situations that may occur.
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