Extraordinary snowfall in Middle East, Greek government under fire for ‘snow’

Extraordinary snowfall in Middle East, Greek government under fire for 'snow'

Winter has been in evidence in many parts of the Middle East for weeks. Meteorologists say that the cold winter weather of that sequence is extraordinary.

The dome of the rock in Jerusalem under the snow.

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Snowflakes fell for the first time in Jerusalem last night. Today the streets of the Old Town are covered with a layer of snow. Large parts of Israel also have snow up to 20 cm.

Thick layer of snow on the mourning wall in Jerusalem.

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Many roads in northern and central Israel have been blocked by snow. Public transport is almost at a standstill. According to the police, winter teams have to go out to clear the snow and this is extraordinary. Many schools did not open today.

Children playing in the snow in the West Bank.

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The same is the case with that part of the West Bank, where a lot of snow has also fallen.

Snowfall has occurred in large parts of the west coast.

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Jordan also received heavy snow last night and this morning. Snow has frozen up to 30 cm in some places. Major roads are closed in the capital Amman and the government advises against unnecessary travel.

A thick layer of snow in the Jordanian capital Amman.

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A temple in Baalbek, Lebanon is covered with white paint.

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This makes the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in refugee camps even more difficult.

In many refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon, the harsh winter makes living conditions even more difficult.

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Greece and Turkey have also experienced snowfall in recent days. In Greece, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has come under fire for its handling of the blizzard that hit large parts of the country earlier this week.

Acropolis in Athens in the snow.

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The left-wing opposition party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has filed a motion of no confidence. She accuses the government of being barely prepared for unusual weather, although the weather services had warned extensively about it.

Streets of Plaka in the center of Athens.

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Public transport came to a complete standstill in the Greek capital Athens on Monday. Public services and schools remained closed for two days. About 200,000 homes were without electricity. Some suburbs still face power cuts.

Odos Attiki, the ring road around Athens was completely covered with snow. More than 3,000 motorists were stranded for hours, sometimes even days.

Massive chaos on the Ring Road around Athens.

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Prime Minister Mitsotakis accused the highway manager of chaos. The head of the company has since resigned. Mitsotakis eventually apologized to himself.

Drone footage shows Athens covered in snow

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