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A rare snowfall hit parts of Israel and the occupied West Bank, closing schools and businesses. [Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo]
Jerusalem was blanketed in white on Thursday after a winter storm covered much of the region’s higher altitudes with snow.
The holy city’s iconic golden Dome of the Rock was dusted in snow. Main highways to Jerusalem and its major arteries were shut, and schools and businesses closed for the day as municipal snowplows worked to clear streets.
Israel Police also closed major highways in the mountainous West Bank due to the hazardous road conditions.
Snowfall in the hills around Jerusalem is uncommon, occurring perhaps once per winter.
A winter storm has been battering the eastern Mediterranean, bringing heavy rains and wind to the Middle East. Istanbul and Athens were covered in snow earlier this week.