Babylon & Beyond

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ISRAEL: The cold snap continues

February 19, 2008 |  4:01 pm


For the third time this year, Israelis and Palestinians are coping with winter storms. An unusually harsh winter has brought snow, heavy winds and freezing rain. Weather forecasters had been predicting the incoming cold front for several days, so Israeli officials had plenty of time to prepare. Snow plows deployed in Jerusalem and officials in several school districts around the country either cancelled or delayed classes.

Meteorologists said the current winter is the worst in 15 years, but it still doesn’t compare to the winter of 1991-92, when it snowed 10 times in Jerusalem.

Steady rains throughout the day Tuesday quickly turned the snow into frozen slush. But the miserable weather wasn’t enough to dampen spirits among fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club. As night fell, thousands of fans in yellow and black scarves and sweaters streamed towards Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium for Beitar’s match against Maccabi Haifa.

Ashraf Khalil in Jerusalem

Photo: Snow covers a US -made Sherman M50 tank from the 1967 war at a memorial west of Jerusalem. Credit: Ashraf Khalil