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It does happen sometimes, but not usually this bad. See what Jerusalem looks like today.

Snow storm pounds Middle East

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Digital writers

Friday, December 13, 2013, 12:47 PM -

It does happen sometimes, but not usually this bad.

Jerusalem saw some serious snow on Thursday and Friday, the worst the city has seen in 60 years.

The Associated Press reports 1,500 Israelis had to be evacuated from their stranded vehicles, while 350 people were treated for cold-related symptoms in at several emergency centres.

In the West Bank and Gaza, UN relief teams offered emergency services to communities hit by the storm. In Gaza, more than 500 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

The fierce winter storm, called "Alexa," hit several countries.

In Egypt, snow fell on some suburbs for the first time in more than a century, while the country's state media say four major ports on the Red Sea and near the city of Alexandria would remain closed for a third day.

Further north, Lebanon and Syria had been pounded by the storm since Wednesday.

Temperatures have fallen below zero in mountainous areas, affecting not just residents, but more than 2 million refugees of Syria's civil war.

With files from the Associated Press.

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