The land in Israel is divided into Block and Parcel numbers (with apartments receiving sub parcel numbers). This identification number is entered into the computer system and you receive a printout of the owners, liens, mortgages and warning notices.
These are public records and anyone can either go to their local land registry (most cities have one) and get a printout, or obtain one online (if you read Hebrew), but it is essential that your attorney review it to ensure that title is clean or that any problems with title can be resolved before you make full payment for the property.
A typical title extract may show ownership in a married couple with a mortgage to a bank. The mortgage is paid off in the course of performance of the sale agreement, so a mortgage isn’t normally a problem in completing the transaction. Sometimes a title extract may show a spouse as owner, who died, but the surviving spouse never bothered to transfer ownership into his/her name. This is the kind of title issue that an attorney can resolve (by immediately starting an Israeli probate process), but that must be addressed in the sale agreement.
Sometimes the land is owned by the “Israel Land Authority” (Minhal Mekerkei Yisrael) and the “owner” actually has long term leasing rights (such as a renewable 99 year lease). This is quite typical in Israel, but again an attorney needs to review the long term leasing deed and the conditions of that deed.
There are no title insurance companies, as there are in the US, who provide insurance for any problems with title. Title has to be checked in advance of signing the contract and most sale agreements state that the buyer has checked title and has no further claims in that regard.