A country of southwest Asia on the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was established as a primarily Jewish state in 1948, largely along the lines of a United Nations partition plan for Palestine. Discord between Israel and neighboring Arab states led to numerous wars between 1948 and 1973. In the Six-Day War (1967) Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and Jerusalem's Old City, annexing the latter two territories in 1980 and 1981. Israel returned Sinai to Egypt in 1982 and passed partial control of Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinians by agreements signed in 1993 and 1994, but peace efforts were hampered by outbreaks of violence, by disagreement over the status of Jerusalem, and by the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Jerusalem is the capital.