Jerusalem woke up to the rare experience of seeing its holy sites covered in snow on Thursday, with the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall under a layer of white after an overnight snowstorm.
Before dawn children were up hurling snowballs at each other outside the Old City gates, as the faithful trudged to sites holy to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
The snowstorm began on Wednesday evening, leading the authorities to shut down public transportation and block the main road to Jerusalem.
But as it eased overnight the municipality said it would resume services.
The snowfall, which also landed in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, covered areas in the region it has not reached in years, disrupting traffic and postponing vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and even exams at some universities.
Israel’s controversial separation wall and the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp following heavy snowfall in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.
People build a snowman in Sacher Park in Jerusalem.
People play with snow and take selfies in Jerusalem. The authorities forecast heavy thunderstorms and cold temperatures across much of the country.
A woman holding a dog slides down a snow-covered slope.
People walk as snow falls on a main street in Jerusalem.
The snowfall disrupting traffic in the city.
A man poses with a snowman wearing a protestive mask at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Roofs of Jerusalem’s Old City are covered with snow during a snowy morning in Jerusalem.
A bulldozer clears a snow-covered road along the walls of Jerusalem.
Snow falls at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound.