In the first half of 1949, following the end of fighting, agreements were signed among Israel and its neighbors setting armistice lines. These lines mostly corresponded to the borderline during the British Mandate period, except in some areas of Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. It was expected that these would be temporary, to be replaced within a few years by permanent borders.
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.