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Zion is a nation founded on the former territory of Israel in 1997.
After the Third World War of 1995, much of the Levant became uninhabited and uninhabitable and almost all of the surviving population was dispersed to other parts of the planet. However, an initially small party of Jews not native to the area continued to maintain that they had the Right Of Return. Due to the technological fallout resulting from the developments of orbital habitats, long-haul planetary missions and the lunar and Martian bases, it proved to be possible to build sealed habitats on the sites of the former cities which were self-contained and self-sufficient. In 1997, a man claiming to be the Messiah led the construction of these bases and founded a new nation in the area.
Zion is an autarchic theocracy led by the Messiah and claims to have no other legal or political basis than the laws of the Hebrew Bible. It consists of a number of domed cities built on the former sites of Palestinian settlements, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and a number of other locations between Suez and Lebanon. Most of the population is not native to the area, though a small minority of people who were present at the outbreak of the war are also present, who left the area in the UN airlift. Travel occurs to a limited extent between the cities via surface maglevs, another example of technological fallout. Outside the cities, although the land remains uninhabitable to humans, a gradual return to pre-human biological conditions is underway, though there are also plenty of examples of mutations.
The territory is no longer disputed due to the extreme difficulty of living in the area. However, it has been alleged that on arrival, a few non-Jewish people were still alive at the time and were refused help by the colonists. The Messiah has withheld comment on this issue. Some have also claimed that the probability of any survivors in the area two years after the war is very small.
The citizens of Zion have little contact with the outside world although a few of them have acted in an advisory capacity in the building and maintenance of Austropolis. There have also been a number of international scientific expeditions to the areas outside the cities.