Mideast storm dumps snow on Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah


TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — More than a foot of snow blanketed Jerusalem Friday night, cutting power to 60,000 homes across Israel on the third day of a regional storm and blocking roads leading to the hilltop city, officials said.

The snow covered Bethlehem, Ramallah and other Palestinian-ruled parts of the West Bank. Heavy rain lashed the Gaza Strip, causing thousands to flee their homes, some using boats to navigate the flooded streets.

At least four people died in the storm, including two men whose vehicle was washed away in southern Israel by flooding, Israel Radio reported. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said it’s housing hundreds of families in its Gaza facilities and has distributed 5,000 liters of fuel.

“The situation is disastrous,” said Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for Gaza’s emergency services administration. The combination of flooding and power outages are threatening hundreds of thousands in the coastal territory, he added.

 

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