Israel freezes for Holocaust day

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Jerusalem | Life froze across Israel for two minutes on Thursday at 10 a.m. (local time) to the sound of sirens, to mark Holocaust day in memory of the six million Jewish victims of Nazism during World War II.

As every year, motorists got out of their cars, the buses stopped as well as the pedestrians who gathered in the streets.

The Israelis gathered outside shops and offices, and on their balconies, along with pupils and students in all schools and universities.

At a ceremony Wednesday evening at Yad Vashemau, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would oppose any deal that would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Discussions are currently taking place in Vienna between Tehran and the international community to try to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“An agreement with Iran which would pave the way for nuclear weapons (…) would in no way be binding on us,” he declared.

“During the Holocaust, we had neither the capacity to defend ourselves nor the sovereignty to do so,” Netanyahu added. “Today we have a state, a defense force and we have the full and natural right as the sovereign state of the Jewish people to defend ourselves against our enemies.”

Israel accuses the Islamic Republic of Iran, the sworn enemy of the Hebrew state, of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran has consistently denied.