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All roads in and out of Jerusalem closed as heavy snow hits parts of Mideast

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JERUSALEM — A heavy snowstorm has shut down roads leading in and out of Jerusalem and blanketed Israel's desert with a rare layer of white.

Snow also landed Friday in parts of the West Bank as a cold front swept through the Middle East. In Gaza, heavy rains that started on Thursday have been forecast for the rest of the week.

PHOTO: A bird flies over the beach during a rain storm in Gaza City, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Rain is forecast for the rest of the week in Gaza City, with heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A bird flies over the beach during a rain storm in Gaza City, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Rain is forecast for the rest of the week in Gaza City, with heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Jerusalem municipality spokeswoman Brachie Sprung says 25 centimeters (10 inches) have already been dumped on the city, with 10 centimeters (4 inches) more expected later in the day.

Desert towns of Beersheba, Dimona and Yerucham were sprinkled with white and residents of Arad proudly showed off a snowman.

Snow has also been falling since Thursday in Lebanon and on Friday, it paralyzed most streets in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

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