JERUSALEM (Feb. 20)
Heavy snowfall–rare in Israel–blanketed the Jerusalem area today while heavy rains and hail caused considerable damage to field crops, vegetables and orange groves throughout the country. The snowfall disrupted traffic, cut off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, halted railways and crippled bus and auto traffic in the capital. Most schools and the Hebrew University were closed because of the snowfall.”
Several Parliamentary Deputies were cut off from Jerusalem, to which they had been hurrying for a scheduled debate on easing or abolition of military government in Arab-populated areas. Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, was one of those cut off from Jerusalem by the storm. Plans were made to fly the deputies to Jerusalem if no other way could be found.
Tel Aviv suffered greatly from the hail, as did the Galilee hilly region and the Safed area. The damage to the orange groves threatened the citrus crop. The Castel road to Jerusalem was cut off by the snowfall and long lines of cars waited for the snows to melt. Evening newspapers were brought to the Caster road by vehicle and then taken afoot for several miles to a point where they were put on cars coming from Jerusalem.