Israel - Topography
The country is divided into three major longitudinal strips: the coastal plain, which follows the Mediterranean shoreline in a southward widening band; the hill region, embracing the hills of Galilee in the north, Samaria and Judea in the center, and the Negev in the south; and the Jordan Valley. Except for the Bay of Acre, the sandy coastline is not indented for its entire length. The hill region, averaging 610 m (2,000 ft) in elevation, reaches its highest point at Mt. Meron (1,208 m/3,963 ft). South of the Judean hills, the Negev desert, marked by cliffs and craters and covering about half the total area of Israel proper, extends down to the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The Jordan River, forming the border between Israel (including the West Bank) and Jordan, links the only bodies of water in the country: the Sea of Galilee (Yam Kinneret) and the heavily saline Dead Sea (Yam ha-Melah), which, at 408 m (1,339 ft) below sea level, is the lowest point on the earth's surface.