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08 Apr 2011 description

Israel is a multiparty parliamentary democracy with a population of approximately 7.7 million, including Israelis living in the occupied territories. Israel has no constitution, although a series of "Basic Laws" enumerate fundamental rights. Certain fundamental laws, orders, and regulations legally depend on the existence of a "State of Emergency," which has been in effect since 1948. The 120-member, unicameral Knesset has the power to dissolve the government and mandate elections. The February 2009 elections for the Knesset were considered free and fair.