Severe storm topples wall and damages graves at Beruit Jewish cemetery
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Severe storm topples wall and damages graves at Beruit Jewish cemetery

Graveyard which dates back to the early 1820s is the city's only Jewish cemetery and has been closed to the public for many years.

Graves in a Jewish cemetery sit damaged from heavy rains in the Sodeco area of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Graves in a Jewish cemetery sit damaged from heavy rains in the Sodeco area of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A severe storm has toppled an old wall and several graves at a Jewish cemetery in the Lebanese capital.

The cemetery in Beirut’s Sodeco district, which dates back to the early 1820s, is the city’s only Jewish cemetery and has been closed to the public for many years.

Heavy rain and strong winds toppled the cemetery’s stone wall, which fell on to several graves and sent some headstones crashing down.

The fallen gravestones with Hebrew writing on them could be seen from the main street where the wall had collapsed.

Lebanon once had a thriving Jewish community. As many as 15,000 to 22,000 Jews lived in Lebanon in the mid-1960s, but the various Arab-Israeli wars and Lebanon’s own 1975-90 conflict caused waves of emigration, and today almost none are left in the country.

The storm, which has been dubbed Loulou, has lashed Lebanon and also caused flooding and landslides in parts of the country while the first heavy snow fell on the mountains, forcing some road closures.

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