Few may know that Israel is the 150th largest nation worldwide, and one of the most prosperous. The economic prosperity of the country is the result of good utilization of natural resources and determined economic policies. Even if it’s known as a country low on natural resources, the last discoveries revealed that Israel has plenty of natural resources like sand, clays, copper ore, natural gas, minerals and oil.
Here are some of Israel’s natural resources you may not know about.
Minerals and gemstones
Israel doesn’t produce rough diamonds, but it’s globally recognised as one of the best markets for cutting, trading and polishing diamonds. They are also specialised in lab created diamonds — a more eco-friendly version than natural ones. Israel has state-of-art diamond processing technologies that rely on automatic polishing machines and computer aided design systems.
It’s estimated that in the Dead Sea there are 1 billion tons of bromine. In 2016, Israel produced 170,000 tons of bromine because the global demand for this material was higher than ever.
Natural gas is one of the most important natural resources Israel has. It earns the government plenty of revenue and contributes to the gross domestic product. One of the first gas fields was discovered in the proximity of Ashkelon, but because it was highly used between 2004 and 2014, the reserves are almost used up at present. In 2009 Israel discovered a new source of natural gas in Tamar, and it gave a boost to the local economy because it contains more than 7.1 trillion cubic feet.
At present Israel exports natural gas primarily to Jordan.
Arable land is a critical resource for Israel because the country has a limited agricultural potential due to its climate and location. The Israeli Government states that they can use only 20% of the total land area for naturally suitable agriculture. But thanks to the latest agricultural technologies, Israel can now use more land area for agriculture. Nowadays it attains a food security index of roughly 95%.
In 2017 agriculture contributed 2.3% at the national gross domestic product and it was one of the main subscribers. More than 2.6% of the local workforce was directly or indirectly involved in the agricultural industry. Mangoes and wheat are some of the main crops grown in Israeli.
Because Israel has access to the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, fish is one of the richest natural resources they have. In the Mediterranean Sea, there are various types of fish species like the Aramtan blue, the memorized string and the sleeping sketches. The Ministry of Agriculture states that they obtain on average 3.500 tons of fish yearly, from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Sea of Galilee provides fish like Galil Amnon, Longhead Barbel and the Large-scale Barbel. The Gulf of Aqaba is another source of fish for Israeli fishermen where they can find jacks, mullets and mackerel.
Alongside the natural resources we listed above, Israel also has fossil fuels, natural water, flowers, fruits and metals.