Activity ceased at 10:00 am while the two-minute siren blared throughout the country as it observed the silence, with business, daily routine and traffic being brought to a complete standstill.
A wreath-laying took place after at the memorial monument to the Warsaw ghetto uprising at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and was followed by a name-reading ceremony at the Knesset that began at 11:00 am.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered remarks at the ceremony , along with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut and opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
On the eve of the memorial day in 2018, 215,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, 130,000 of whom are women and 85,000 of whom are men.
According to the Finance Ministry’s Authority for Holocaust Survivors’ Rights, in 2017 the budget for survivors stood at NIS 4 billion.
72,561 of the survivors receive monthly stipends, 6,996 receive compensation for spouses and 140,000 are eligible for annual financial handouts. The average age of a Holocaust survivor id 85, with a dwindling population, and more than a quarter of them (60,000) live below the poverty line.
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Iran “not to test Israel’s resolve,” while speaking at a state ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem.
Delivering his remarks immediately after President Reuven Rivlin, Netanyahu said that events in recent days, in reference to Syria’s attacks in Douma using chemical weapons, “show that confronting evil and aggression is a mission that is imposed on every generation.”
There is no generation, he said, which is exempt from carrying out the mission, and “woe to the generation that evades it.”