Israel marks Holocaust remembrance day with somber ceremony

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The "Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day", as it is officially called here, started with the annual ceremony at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. She said these individuals were chosen for ways in which they were helping to carry out the lessons of notable Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel who passed away past year.

People visit Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Earlier at the government's weekly meeting, Netanyahu said the Jews has become "from the people that is a driven leaf, helpless, to a sovereign people with a defensive force that is among the strongest in the world".

In his address, Netanyahu said the lives of at least 4 million Jews could have been saved if the allied powers had bombed Nazi death camps in 1942. Although since World War II no tragedy has approached the dimensions of the Holocaust, there are many cases where the world stands idly by and does not prevent genocide, does not prevent mass murder.

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However, Netanyahu said, "amid the darkness" there are some "points of light". One "ray of light", he noted, was US President Donald Trump's determined response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's gassing of his own people.

The speech marked a sharp contrast from that of President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke just before Netanyahu, and cautioned against seeing anti-Semitism where it does not exist.

The Israeli flag was lowered to half-mast at the beginning of the ceremony Sunday evening as a military honor guard stood nearby.

"Momentum is gathering to remember those six million who perished in the Holocaust".

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They were not survivors of the Holocaust or children of Holocaust survivors as in the past according to Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin who helped organize the event.

Cafes and other places of entertainment shut down while TV and radio stations broadcast documentaries about the Holocaust from Sunday evening until commemorations end at sundown the next day.

On Monday morning, Israel will come to a standstill as sirens wail for two minutes in the morning.

Other ceremonies on the solemn day included the public reading of names of Holocaust victims at Israel's parliament and elsewhere around the country.

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