Rare snowstorm leaves Jerusalem in lockdown
13 December 2013, 22:46
Jerusalem - A rare snowstorm has blanketed Jerusalem, forcing a lockdown with police blocking access to and from the city.
Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said citizens have been told not to enter or leave Jerusalem. Some 1 500 people were evacuated from stranded vehicles overnight.
Rosenfeld added that three emergency centres have been set up and medics treated 350 people for cold-related symptoms. Mayor Nir Barkat says he asked the military for assistance.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was briefed on the emergency measures and even visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, made a remark about the weather, noting the snow made him feel "at home".
The rest of the region has also been pounded by the wintry weather. Gaza has experienced its first snow in a decade.