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Clearing snow in Jerusalem near train tracks. (Photo: Amichai Gabay/Tazpit News Agency)

Clearing snow in Jerusalem near train tracks. (Photo: Amichai Gabay/Tazpit News Agency)

A snowfall here is such a rare occurrence that people rush outside to enjoy it. Yet in other parts of the country, there is only rain, hail and power outages.

Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Gush Etzion and other high-altitude areas in the Land of Israel are covered in snow.

A massive storm hit the Middle East, as expected, on Wednesday. Israelis have been bracing for the harsh weather for the past several days, stocking up on supplies, planning on ways to heat their homes and scheduling their days indoors – especially in the snowy regions where roads have been closed.

Israelis in general, however, seem to enjoy the snow. Adults, like children, often rush to go sledding, build snowmen or have snowball fights, as it is such a rare occurrence in this neck of the woods. Last winter season, however, Israel had the biggest downfall in decades, which brought Jerusalem to a standstill.

Not So Much Fun in the Lower Areas

The center and coastal regions are much less fun. Not quite cold enough for snow but nonetheless bitter, these areas are experiencing heavy rainstorms, flooding and hail.

Precisely because it happens so infrequently, the country is ill-equipped to cope with the downfall. Many across the country have taken Wednesday and Thursday off or, if possible, are working at home due to the road closures. Many schools and institutions in the capital are closed.

At least 10,000 people have no electricity, mainly in cities near Tel Aviv and in Netanya due to strong winds causing trees to fall on power lines. The Israel Electric Company estimates the demand will surpass previous years.

Unfortunately, a 13-year-old died in a car accident near Beit Shemesh after a car skidded on the road due to inclement weather.

By United with Israel Staff

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