Snow covers Jerusalem, with the Dome of the Rock and Western Wall more beautiful than ever as freezing temperatures hit Middle East
- Jerusalem was covered in snow after a storm swept the Holy Land on Wednesday
- The Dome of the Rock and Western Wall had a rare dusting of snow last night
- Citizens flocked to the streets with their phones to capture the rare sight
- But their excitement was short-lived as they woke up to slush this morning
Lights around the Dome of the Rock catch the snowflakes as they descend from the freezing air swirling around the Israeli capital
Snow covered Jerusalem in a rare flurry which swept across the Holy Land last night, including at the Dome of the Rock and Western Wall.
Citizens of Jerusalem flocked to the streets to enjoy the rare sighting, with some even grabbing hold of their toboggans.
After a stormy Wednesday afternoon, hail and snow began to descend when nightfall came.
Lights surrounding the Dome of the Rock lit up a beautiful shower of snowflakes swirling around its golden top as snow began to fill the square by the Western Wall.
Video captured snow falling around the ancient holy sites for the first time in years.
Jerusalem braced for the snow storm, as police prepared to shut down major highways and many local schools and universities said they would close early.
Snowfall can been in the lights around the Dome of the Rock in the background as it begins to settle in the square near the Western Wall
Snowflakes fall beside the Western Wall as excited citizens head out to brace the strange weather
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.
But the children of Jerusalem were expected in school as usual on Thursday morning as the snow failed to stick and had turned to slush, the Jerusalem Post reported.
A car windscreen near the Western Wall can be seen covered in snow as Wednesday’s rainstorm turned into hail and snow
A Palestinian man clears a street from slushy snow in the West Bank city of Hebron near to Jerusalem on Thursday morning
Palestinian men clear the unusual snow from their street in Hebron, not far south of Jerusalem
The Hermon Resort at Golan Heights – Israel’s only ski resort – enjoyed a fabulous dump bringing them another 15 inches of fresh powder
The only ski resort in Israel – the Hermon Resort at Golan Heights – was overjoyed with the dump and told the Times of Israel they had 15 inches in 24 hours.
The Israel Electric Company told the paper that Wednesday night broke a megawatt record as citizens went for their thermostats in the frigid conditions.
The average temperature for January in Israel is just over 19C, not nearly cold enough to accommodate snow.