Israel gets wintry weather as snow and sand storms batter Middle East

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Israel gets wintry weather as snow and sand storms batter Middle East

Harsh weather sees Jerusalem and the north of Israel affected by freezing and treacherous conditions, while dusty winds hit the West Bank and hail falls in Tel Aviv

Israeli children experience the snowy conditions. Credit: Ancho Gosh
Israeli children experience the snowy conditions. Credit: Ancho Gosh

A harsh weather front has brought sandstorms, and rain to parts of the Middle East, as Jerusalem sees snow and Tel Aviv is battered by hail.

Dusty winds whipped through Israel and the West Bank, with hail falling near Tel Aviv and meteorologists announcing that snow was expected in Jerusalem.

In Cairo, winds reached more than 50kph (30mph), bending palm trees along the Nile River, with the Egyptian capital suffering visibility problems, as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.

Sandstorms are common in the region in late winter and early spring.

Jerusalem braced for its first snowstorm in years, with police preparing to shut major roads and many local schools and universities saying they would close early.

High desert winds swept through Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, carrying sand and dust, while snow was already falling in Israel’s mountainous north, where torrential rain and hail stranded some cars and turned streets into rivers of mud.

In Gaza, fishermen returned to port and docked their boats to protect against the stormy sea.

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