Snow In Israel Rare, But 2013 Winter Storm Alexa Brings Joy… And Death

Snow in Israel is a rare event, but this 2013 storm has blanketed the Middle East.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some people think it’s possible Israel and Saudia Arabia could attack Iran over their nuclear weapons program.

Seeing this much snow in Israel may actually be a new trend for the small country. Back in January of 2013, Jerusalem saw the strongest snow storm in more than 20 years dumping an icy white blanket all across the north of Israel. (I guess Israel didn’t get the memo about global warming…) The snow was even heavier outside of Jerusalem. At least three feet fell on Mount Hermon in northern Israel, as the country was also plagued by high winds.

The winter storm Alexa is responsible for the latest snow in Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry happened to be meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahyu in Jerusalem when the snow in Israel began to fall. His reaction?

“I have heard of making guests welcome and feeling at home. This is about as far as I’ve ever seen anything go… giving me a New England snowstorm.”

And Jerusalem’s children apparently feel the same way about seeing snow in Israel. For example, Tailia Kremer says, “It’s fun to play in the snow. Snowball fights are the best.”

The people of Bethlehem even celebrated with a snow-covered Nativity scene:

“I took my seven-year-old boy, Adam, and made a snow man, and played with the kids of our neighborhood,” said Haneen Ayesh. “The best view ever in my life is seeing the snow covering the courtyard of the Nativity Church and the Christmas tree.”

Unfortunately, for many these stormy conditions do not mean a merry white Christmas. Around 20 inches of snow has fallen in Jerusalem and four people have already died due to storm-related injuries. Flash floods have stranded many and the military was called in to help those stuck on the highways. An estimated 40,000 were forced to flee their homes. Other areas in Israel are suffering from power outages and fuel shortages. Some reports say there are many trees being toppled by the heavy winds.

But Jordan, Lebanon, Northern Syria, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and the Palestinian territories are also feeling Alexa’s icy wrath. Although no official death count has been released, it’s estimated hundreds have been injured by the winter storm. And the snow in Israel caused the government to send diesel fuel for heating and four water pumps as a humanitarian gesture to the people living in the Gaza strip.