When the War of Independence broke out in 1947, the Jewish community of Hebron fled. During the fighting, nine Jewish communities were captured by the Jordanian army – Kibbutz Beit Ha’arava and Kaliya north of the Dead Sea, four kibbutzim in Gush Etzion west of Bethlehem, Atarot and Neve Yaakov north of Jerusalem, and the Jewish Quarter of its Old City. Kfar Darom, in the Gaza strip, was captured by the Egyptian army.
Israel, in the southwestern corner of Asia and the southeast shore of the Mediterranean sea, has a population of over 9 million and a total area of just over 20,000 square kilometers (slightly more than 8000 square miles), ranks 150th among nations in geographical size and 99th in population size. Its population is 80% Jewish and 20% Muslim.