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Storm topples wall and gravestones in Beirut’s Jewish cemetery

The cemetery in Beirut’s Sodeco district dates back to the early 1820s and is the city’s only Jewish cemetery.

Graves in a Jewish cemetery collapsed from heavy rain in the Sodeco area of Beirut, Lebanon (Hassan Ammar/AP)
Graves in a Jewish cemetery collapsed from heavy rain in the Sodeco area of Beirut, Lebanon (Hassan Ammar/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A severe storm has toppled an old wall and several graves at a Jewish cemetery in the Lebanese capital.

The cemetery in Beirut’s Sodeco district, which dates back to the early 1820s, is the city’s only Jewish cemetery and has been closed to the public for many years.

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Gravestones in the Jewish cemetery collapsed after heavy rain in the Sodeco area of Beirut, Lebanon (Hassan Ammar/AP)

Heavy rain and strong winds toppled the cemetery’s stone wall, which fell on to several graves and sent some headstones crashing down.

The fallen gravestones with Hebrew writing on them could be seen from the main street where the wall had collapsed.

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The Jewish cemetery dates back to the early 1820s and has been closed to the public for many years (Hassan Ammar/AP)

Lebanon once had a thriving Jewish community. As many as 15,000 to 22,000 Jews lived in Lebanon in the mid-1960s, but the various Arab-Israeli wars and Lebanon’s own 1975-90 conflict caused waves of emigration, and today almost none are left in the country.

The storm, which has been dubbed Loulou, has lashed Lebanon and also caused flooding and landslides in parts of the country while the first heavy snow fell on the mountains, forcing some road closures.

PA

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