Israel/Transnational issues

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In addition to seeking an end to hostilities with Arab forces, against which it has fought five wars since 1948, Israel has given high priority to gaining wide acceptance as a sovereign state with an important international role. Before 1967, it had established diplomatic relations with a majority of the world's nations, except for the Arab states and most other Muslim countries. While the Soviet Union and the communist states of Eastern Europe (except Romania) broke diplomatic relations with Israel in the 1967 war, those relations were restored by 1991.

Today, Israel has diplomatic relations with some 153 states. Following the Madrid conference in 1991, and as a direct result of the peace process, Israel established or renewed diplomatic relations with 62 countries. Most important are its ties with Arab states. In addition to full diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan, Israel now has ties of one kind or another with Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain.

On October 1, 1994, the Gulf States publicly announced their support for a review of the Arab boycott, in effect abolishing the secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel. Israel has diplomatic relations with 9 non-Arab Muslim states and with 32 of the 43 Sub-Saharan states that are not members of the Arab League. Israel established relations with China and India in 1992.

Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied.

Illicit drugs: increasingly concerned about cocaine and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and increasingly Jordan Israeli citizens have become somewhat less supportive of the peace process in recent years, in part because some leaders in the Palestinian Authority has been teaching that the Peace treaty with Israel is a temporary measure only.