Even Franciscan friars sometime believe it right to defy evangelical teachings to turn the other cheek - at least when snowballs are involved, a viral online video shows.

Six monks of the Catholic order founded some 800 years ago by St Francis of Assisi are seen trading forbidden blows during a snow battle in Jerusalem, in footage posted on YouTube.

Dressed in their traditional black hooded cloaks, the friars are heard in joyous laughter as they bomb each other with fluffy white missiles on the rooftop terrace of a building in the holy city.

The clip was captured from an overlooking window by Einat Gomel earlier this month and features breath-taking views of the city blanketed by snow.

Posted online on 23 February, the video has already been viewed more than 106,000 times.

Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East were covered in white last week, as a rare heavy winter snow storm hit the region, better known for its blistering summer heat.

The cold front that swept through the region affecting the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, even turned Israel's desert white.