There were grey charged skies over Jerusalem as the Middle East prepared for a rare snowstorm, and if it is anything like the one that caught everyone by surprise last year, this time people are getting ready.
There was chaos last year on roads that had never seen snow. This time around salt has been stockpiled and there will be preventive spreading today and tonight.
Israelis keep cool under fire. But threaten them with being snowed in for a week and they panic buy just like us.
“I think most of the people are a bit traumatised from last year, traumatised from having no electricity and things like that. We were cut off from electricity for five days, but we know it’s gonna be like last year, but better be prepared than not prepared,” said one young mother.
In Gaza the problem is a different one. With so many buildings damaged the challenge will be staying alive this winter, not staying warm and fed.
For one Palestinian the winter is just another reason for him to be moved on. “As you can see we’re cold. We don’t know what will happen to us. There is no gasoline, not heating, no clothes. The houses are leaking. This is another immigration, we’re being forced to move,” said a man burning scraps of wood in a shack.
There is a determination in Israel not to be caught out again and preparations appear to have been extensive, but in Gaza there is little of anything during normal weather, so some are fearing the worst if temperatures suffer a sustained plunge.
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