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Israel commemorates victims of Holocaust


08:26, April 08, 2013

JERUSALEM, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Israeli officials and holocaust survivors attended the annual ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Memorial Day at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, ministers, foreign diplomats, lawmakers, judges, high-ranking military officials and holocaust survivors.

Netanyahu used the stage to give a stern speech against Iran, which, according to him, is aiming to put an end to the Jewish state.

"Iran has bluntly declared its intention to destroy the State of Israel and is working within all means available to achieve that. Iranian clergymen are calling Jewish people microbes and bacteria," Netanyahu said.

"The homicidal hatred towards the Jews did not disappear from the world but rather was replaced by another homicidal hatred against the Jewish state," the prime minister added.

"What's different now is our ability and determination to defend ourselves," Netanyahu said, specifically referring to the possibility of an Israeli military attack against Iranian targets.

"We appreciate the international community's efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear plan but under no circumstances will we put our fate in the hands of others, not even the closest of our friends," he said in conclusion, possibly referring to the United States.

President Shimon Peres also talked about the possible threats to Israel's security, citing the Holocaust as a "lesson" to defend themselves and intercept dangers.

"Whoever ignores the threat against one nation, must know that the threat of a Holocaust against one nation is a threat of Holocaust against all nations," the president said.

The Holocaust was a genocide of approximately 6 million Jews during World War II. There are currently 192,000 survivors living in Israel.

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