Jerusalem's Old City blanketed by rare snow

Heavy fall across parts of Israel and the Palestinian territories overnight

The ancient sites of Jerusalem’s Old City were blanketed in snow on Thursday, after a rare storm swept the city.

At Al Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, the golden Dome of the Rock was dusted white.

Children playing in the snow in front of the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem's Old City. Reuters

Children and adults alike played in the plaza, while below, at the holiest site where Jews can pray, snow carpeted the base of the Western Wall.

Footprints dotted the narrow alleys of the Old City, occupied East Jerusalem and other sacred sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Jews at the Western Wall after the snowfall. AFP

The snow brought parts of the city to a standstill, with some roads to Jerusalem closed overnight.

The storm swept in across northern Israel and also brought snowfall to the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.

A man shovels snow in front of Jerusalem's Damascus Gate. Reuters

With the snow expected to give way to rain, the Israel Meteorological Service warned of a flood risk on the coast and in parts of the Jordan Valley.

Snow has fallen elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean this week, causing travel chaos in Turkey’s Istanbul and the Greek capital Athens.

Updated: January 27, 2022, 1:26 PM