After Deadly Flooding, Storms Pounded Israel Throughout Weekend

The body of 16-year-old Omri Abu Janb was recovered on Friday after he was swept away by floodwaters in the northern village of Yarka

Zafrir Rinat
Bar Peleg
Jack Khoury
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A stream flows into the Bnei Yisrael reservoir in the southern Golan Heights, December 26, 2019.
A stream flows into the Bnei Yisrael reservoir in the southern Golan Heights, December 26, 2019.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Zafrir Rinat
Bar Peleg
Jack Khoury

After two days of record-breaking rain in Israel's north, storms continued into Saturday as unusually cold weather prevailed throughout the country.  

On Friday, rescue services found the body of 16-year-old Omri Abu Janb, who was swept away by floodwaters on Thursday. He was riding an ATV with friends near the Druze village of Yarka in the north when he was swept into the stream. He is the second casualty of the storm; 27-year-old Majd Sawaid of Wadi Salama was pronounced dead Thursday after being swept away by a flood near the Hilazon River in northern Israel.   

On Friday, part of a cliff on a Tel Aviv beach collapsed after being lashed by waves during the storm. The collapse damaged a handicapped access path from the beach to the boardwalk as well as a lamppost. The cliff disintegrated because the waves ate away at the sandstone dune, city officials say, but environmental activists claim that it was a man-made area built very close to the waterline.

A rainbow follows light rainfall on the Gaza border, December 28, 2019.
A rainbow follows light rainfall on the Gaza border, December 28, 2019.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Data from Meteo-tech shows that there was a decrease in rainfall from mid-morning Friday to the same time Saturday, and the storms are due to stop by evening in the north as well. The lower level of the Mount Hermon resort reopened to visitors Saturday morning, but remained closed to skiers due to heavy fog.

Sunday morning will also see rain, which will continue in parts of the country's north and on the coast, and there are concerns of flooding in the Judean Desert and Jordan Valley. Temperatures are due to rise slightly, but remain unseasonably cold. On Monday, usual winter temperatures will return.  

Soccer fans attend a Maccabi Tel Aviv-Hapoel Kfar Sava match, December 28, 2019.
Soccer fans attend a Maccabi Tel Aviv-Hapoel Kfar Sava match, December 28, 2019.Credit: Nir Keidar

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