Photo Credit: Flash 90
Strictly religious Jews brave high winds at Har Zeitim (Mount of Olives) cemetery in Jerusalem. (file)

The Nature and Parks Authority has announced it is closing a significant number of hiking trails throughout the country as of Monday ahead of potentially dangerous weather conditions.

“Due to extreme weather warnings, it is forbidden to take walks in several sites in the north of Israel from Monday the 18th until Wednesday the 20th,” reads an alert on the Authority website. Hikers are directed to call the Authority’s call center at *3639.

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High winds began entering the region over the weekend, with temperatures dropping on Sunday and continuing to drop further on Monday. Meteorologists say the incoming weather system is expected to further reduce humidity and bring stronger winds as well.

Brush fire warnings have been raised across the country as a result.

Israel is not the only country in the Mediterranean basin seeing strong weather patterns this week: in Italy, a record-high tide struck the city of Venice on Sunday for the third time in a week.

Tourists went wading through the flood-struck areas in Venice to photograph the sights, even though most of the stores and museums were closed, according to The Associated Press.

The rest of the country was likewise hit with similar severe weather ranging from an out-of-season avalanche to extremely high water levels in the rivers due to unusually heavy rain, and high winds.

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