Israel comes to standstill to commemorate Holocaust victims

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Israel came to halt to the sound of sirens to commemorate the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

At 10 a.m on Thurday, as the two-minute sirens pierced the air, people across the country stood in solemn silence in honour of the six million Jewish victims of the Nazis during World War II, Xinhua news agency reported.

On streets and highways, traffic stopped with many drivers stepping out of their vehicles, standing still in contemplation. Pedestrians halted their steps and stood in silence. In many homes, businesses, and offices people stopped their activity and stood still, commemorating the victims of the Nazi genocide.

The annual ritual is part of a series of memorial activities on the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, an official day to honour the Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany and its collaborators in World War-II.

At Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog attended an official wreath-laying ceremony.

At the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, lawmakers, and officials participated in lighting memorial candles for the victims. Knesset Speaker Miki Levy lit candles together with his German counterpart Barbel Bas.

“I bow my head in humility and shame in front of the victims of the Holocaust,” Bas said after the candle lighting.

“We must not forget and we will not forget. Our historical guilt stems from commitment. We must fight resolutely against anti-Semitism and all its manifestations, and we must preserve and revive the memory and pass it on to the younger generations,” she added.

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