OK, so Israel is not just about great beaches, amazing weather, amazing food and must-see tourist sites for believers of all faiths…though these do help bring the tourists in, no doubt about it! There are also a whole number of behind the scenes, behind the headlines factors that make the Holy Land such a unique place to visit. Here are a few more facts about the Holy Land that you probably weren’t aware of, that might just convince you to go out and buy that ticket.

  • It has a total coastline of only 273km, including some 137 official beaches.
  • The population is now 7,233,701, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Of its 7.2 million people, 75.8 percent are Jews, 19.9 percent are Arabs (mostly Muslim) and the remaining 4.3 percent include Druze, Circassians, and others not classified by religion.  
  • The mobile telephone population is now estimated at well over 9 million telephones (8.9m in 2007). 
  • Apart from the US and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
  • There are more museums per capita than any other country.
  • Israel has the world’s second largest output of new books per citizen.
  • The first anti-virus software was developed in Israel in 1979.
  • The national football team has only ever qualified for the World Cup Finals once, back in 1970.
  • Raising/breeding pigs in the Holy Land is illegal for Jews due to a 1962 law (a number of Arab farmers raise pigs). Only one Jewish organization bucks the trend, Kibbutz Lahav, breeding pigs (over 10,000 of them) which are officially for “research purposes”.

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