Gaza floods force thousands to flee their homes

Torrential rains in the past week have caused heavy flooding in the Gaza Strip, with thousands of people evacuated from their homes and seeking refuge in schools and makeshift shelters, Agence France-Presse reports. 

The flooding was so severe that many homes could only be accessed by row boat, with water more than six feet deep in some places, Reuters reports. 

People are evacuated from their homes in a boat in a flooded area of Gaza City on Dec. 17. Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

"Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area with water as far as the eye can see," the United Nations Relief Works Agency said in a statement on Saturday.

Further north, heavy snowfall blanketed the Jerusalem area and parts of the occupied West Bank last week.

Related: Holiday Calendar: Where the Middle East's snow shows