Israeli Jewish women are at low risk for cancer of the uterine cervix. In view of absent screening programs in Israel, there are only scarce data available with regard to results of PAP smears. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of premalignant cervical lesions in the largest sample of PAP smears reported so far from Israel. We retrospectively analyzed the results of 297,849 PAP smears, which had been examined in a single laboratory, during 9 years (1991-1999). The incidence of low- and high-grade squamous intraepithelial was 0.69% and 0.29%, respectively. Our data indicate similar incidence rates for premalignant lesions in Jewish Israeli women as observed in Western countries, but no increase during the study period. In spite of relatively high incidence rates for premalignant lesions of the uterine cervix, the incidence rate for invasive cervical cancer remains conspicuously low. For unknown reason the conversion rate from premalignant cervical lesions to invasive cancer is lower in Israeli Jewish women than in European and North American women. We discuss possible reasons for this phenomenon and suggest that at this time mass screening for cervical cancer in Israel may probably not be justified.