Photo Credit: Liami Lawrence
This dust-sand-smog storm even hit Tel Aviv's famed Mediterranean beachfront area.

Domestic airlines in parts of Israel were grounded Wednesday morning as a dust and sandstorm moved through the region.

Arkia halted all domestic flights until 3 pm while Tel Aviv’s local Sde Dov airport ceased operations, as did the local airport in Eilat as well.


The Environmental Protection Ministry cautioned pregnant women, children, elderly and those with medical conditions to remain indoors.

Pollution levels were 26 times higher than the standard level in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and in the coastal region; and 30 times higher in Rehovot as a result of the heavy haze.

In the Judean city of Efrat, about ten minutes from the capital, skies were windy with a haze beginning to creep over the area.

Not all of the country is under the blanket, however. sources in Arad, located close to the southern end of the Dead Sea and known for its clear, fresh air, said Wednesday morning the weather in the northern Negev city was windy and clear.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.