The region under review: boundaries, geography and population
The Galilee is a region in the north of Israel, which consists of:
The Galilee has a population of about 1.7 million; a third lives in the sub-district of Haifa. In Haifa 82% are Jewish; Muslims, Christians and Druse are only minorities of about 3 to 4% each. In the Northern district, Jews represent 44% of the population, Muslims 38% and Christians and Druse 7 to 8% each.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy. The President is the Head of State, elected by the Knesset which has the legislative power. The central government is led by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The Municipal Corporations Ordinance serves as the basis for the local government structure. There are two kinds of local authorities: municipalities (>20,000 inhabitants) and local councils (>5,000 inhabitants).
The local authorities’ powers include legislation, taxation, financial management and joint activities with other bodies (Commission of the European Communities 2004: 6ff).
The Minister for Education is responsible for HE and research policy and presides over the Council for Higher Education (CHE). The CHE accredits the HEIs’ curricula. Its planning and budgeting sub-committee distributes the state funding among the universities and colleges.
The Galilee is slowly developing a blend of low- and high-tech industry in the coastal areas, but at a much slower pace than in some other regions in Israel. Agriculture continues to play an important role.