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Heavy snow storm leaves thousands without electricity

A Palestinian man stands a a snow hill trying to reach a main road during snowy weather in the West Bank city of Nablus (EPA photo)

A Palestinian man stands a a snow hill trying to reach a main road during snowy weather in the West Bank city of Nablus (EPA photo)

Birds fly over the border fence covered in snow near the Northern Israeli village of Majdal Shams, Golan Heights, on the Israeli-Syrian border (EPA photo)

Birds fly over the border fence covered in snow near the Northern Israeli village of Majdal Shams, Golan Heights, on the Israeli-Syrian border (EPA photo)

A Palestinian girl builds a snowman during snowy weather in the West Bank city of Nablus (EPA photo)

A Palestinian girl builds a snowman during snowy weather in the West Bank city of Nablus (EPA photo)

Tel Aviv (dpa) - Many thousands of people remained without electricity on Sunday, after a three-day snowstorm hit the Middle East - one of the heaviest ever seen in Israel and the Palestinian territories.



The Israeli electricity company was still repairing lines damaged by snow or fallen branches. More than 35,000 Israeli families had been without power for up to three days, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told dpa, mostly in and around Jerusalem and in northern Israel.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian homes throughout the West Bank were also cut off. The Israeli military used armoured vehicles to provide assistance in and around Jerusalem. At least four people were killed in Israel - a man who fell off a roof, two people swept away by floods in the southern Negev desert, and a girl burnt in an accident involving a heater, police said. One man also fell to his death in the West Bank.

The storm hit the Middle East on Thursday, bringing snow as far south as Cairo, for the first time in over 100 years.In Israel and the West Bank, towns and cities at higher altitudes were covered in snow, including Jerusalem, Safed, Nablus and Hebron. Other areas were hit by heavy rains, including Gaza, which sawflooding.The main highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was shut down.

Thousands of cars were stranded in the snow. Many were left behind by their owners. The Israeli railway company operated special trains from Jerusalem on Saturday, for the first time in Israel’s history, despite the Jewish Sabbath. Schools stayed closed on Sunday - the beginning of the week in Israel- in many locations.

In Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, several animals died, including two flamingos hit by a falling palm tree, spokeswoman Sigalit Herz said.


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