Winter storm "Alexa" hits Middle East
Winter storm "Alexa" hits Middle East

A strong winter storm caused severe weather to the Middle East, forcing the closure of roads and schools .

The inclement weather delayed the first-ever international UN airlift, set to fly from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to the town of Qamishli in northeastern Syria.

Heavy snow in Turkey forced the cancellation of scores of flights and caused major disruption to road and sea traffic.

Elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean, temperatures plunged and heavy snow fell at higher elevations, including in Jerusalem, where schools were closed.

In the Gaza Strip, which has been in the grip of a fuel crisis that has affected hospitals, sanitation services and sewerage, torrential rains filled the streets with floodwater and overflowing sewage, and forced the closure of schools and banks.

In the occupied West Bank, snow fell on Bethlehem's Manger Square, the traditional site of the birth of Jesus Christ. Most West Bank schools were closed but roads were generally passable and no serious accidents were reported.

The government in Jordan closed ministries and other offices on account of heavy snow and rain and urged residents to stay indoors. Banks and schools were also shut.

In Egypt's Sinai, heavy rains caused power cuts and two police were injured when their car overturned on a muddy road.

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