Snow, heavy flooding hit Israel

Snow and hail fell in Jerusalem and Israel’s north Jan. 9, a day after flooding left dozens stranded in the heaviest winter storm to hit the region in two decades.

At least 3 feet of snow fell on Mount Hermon and continued to fall heavily in Israel’s north. Areas of the West Bank were also blanketed in snow.

Jerusalem residents were to avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary. Schools in many cities were closed due to the snow, continued flooding and loss of electricity.

On Jan. 8, Israel’s air force was called in to rescue dozens of people trapped by fast-rising waters following the storms.

Teams from IAF Unit 669, the search and rescue division, rescued 15 people stranded on the roof of their building in Baqa-jatt, near Haifa. A second team was called to Lake Alexander near Netanya to rescue seven people who had escaped the rising water by climbing on top of their cars.

The Israeli military, civil administration and Palestinian security forces collaborated in several similar operations throughout the West Bank, rescuing seven people near Jenin, five in Hirbat Jabara and five near Nua a-Shams. — jta &