Jerusalem snow - Olivier Fitoussi
Snow falling in Jerusalem's Sacher Park, March 2, 2012. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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Heavy snow fell in the Jerusalem area on Friday, and for the first time in four years, parts of Jerusalem were white with snow.

Snow fell in Ramot, Givat Ze’ev and Har Gilo, and three centimeters of snow fall were reported.

The Jerusalem municipality, which had prepared for the weather conditions in recent days, was due to clear snow from the streets of Jerusalem on Friday.

Snow also fell in the Golan Heights in the early hours of Friday morning, and classes were canceled in the Golan and in the area around Safad because of the weather. Safad area residents were also asked not to drive by the municipality, and there was no public transport in the area. 

Cold and stormy weather swept through Israel since Tuesday, and Friday was expected to be the coldest day of the year.

On Friday, a seven-year-old girl was seriously injured after being swept away by a stream that flooded in Modi'in Ilit,  and a 96-year old woman from Sderot died as the ambulance that was taking her to hospital in Ashkelon slipped on an icy road.

Snow fell on Mount Hermon and at high elevations in the Golan Heights and the Galilee on Wednesday, as well as in the central mountains. In some locations, the winds exceeded 100 kilometers per hour.

A 70-year-old man in Netanya was lightly injured on Wednesday when he was struck in the head by a glass door that was blown off its hinges. Elsewhere in the city, on Yehuda Halevi Street, a tree fell on a car, but no injuries were caused.

On Tel Aviv's King George Street, traffic was disrupted when a large tree was uprooted by strong winds, tearing down power lines, ripping a bench out of the ground and blocking the street. Traffic lights and signs were blown down around the city. In south Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park, the city erected a new tent to provide shelter for the homeless.

Aviation traffic was also disrupted yesterday. A Dutch KLM jet scheduled to land at Ben-Gurion International Airport was forced to land in Cyprus instead. The Israel Airports Authority went on a state of alert for other possible disruptions in airplane traffic.

Both Safed and Jerusalem received some 40 millimeters of rain, according to the Meteo-Tech meteorology firm, while Netanya had 30 millimeters of rain. The Mediterranean was particularly rough, with waves reaching up to nine meters.

The level of Lake Kinneret rose three centimeters over the past two days. Air pollution levels in the south were higher than average.

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