Heavy winter storm descends on parts of MideastA heavy winter storm descended on parts of the Middle East on Friday, with snow forcing the closure of all roads leading in and out of Jerusalem and sprinkling Israel’s desert with a rare layer of white. Snow also fell in parts of the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria as a cold front swept through the region. The snowstorm added to the burdens for Syrians displaced by war and living in tents in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. Some tents collapsed or suffered damage, and streets were turned into large puddles of muddy water. Children walked through the puddles and helped clear snow from the roofs of tents. A Syrian refugee who identified herself as Umm Raed said conditions in the camp were difficult even before the winter storm hit. “This is the third snowstorm, many people live in tents, their situation is very bad,” she said. “Look at the situation of the children.” By contrast, the Holy Land’s ancient sites were picture-postcard pretty. Snow capped the golden Dome of the Rock, a Muslim site in Jerusalem, dusted the Western Wall, a Jewish holy site, and blanketed the Nativity Church in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born.  “It’s a magic wonderland,” said Miriam Leibowitz, a Jerusalem resident, as she strolled through a snow-filled city park with her family. “In the middle of Jerusalem we felt like we’re in Switzerland.” Jerusalem municipality spokeswoman Brachie Sprung said 25 centimeters (10 inches) of snow were dumped on the city. Twenty-year-old Nachy Faiman, a Jewish seminary student from Monsey, New York, said he was praying with a group of men at the Western Wall when the snow started. “It was awesome,” he said.  In the early hours of the morning, Israeli police closed the main roads leading in and out of Jerusalem, and reopened them by midday. Jerusalem’s light rail tram service was shut down all day after two trams, making dry runs without passengers, were derailed overnight due to the snow, tram service spokesman Ozel Vatik said. MORE