JERUSALEM: Blankets of snow brought the Holy City of Jerusalem and other cities across the Middle East to a grinding halt yesterday as icy weather conditions gripped the mainly desert region.
Snow blocked roads to the Jordan's capital Amman and schools, universities and banks were shut, while freezing winds swept through Cyprus and severe storms battered much of Lebanon.
Beirut was hit by torrential downpours and hailstorms.
Men pelted each other with snow balls in Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The government in Jordan declared a public holiday yesterday because of the freeze. Delays hit Amman international airport but it remained open despite heavy snow.
In Syria the temperatures dropped to seven degrees Celsius below seasonal norms.