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Fewer Survivors Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Iran Breathes Threats to Destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa

The number of Holocaust survivors continues to dwindle in Israel, with fewer than 150,000 living testimonies to the atrocities of the Nazis, as the Jewish nation that rose out of the ashes of World War II marked Holocaust Remembrance Day beginning Monday night. As Israelis lit candles and gathered to remember the 6 million who perished in concentration camps and crematoriums, Iran’s president threatened that the Islamic Republic would destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel did “any tiny action.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made his remarks as Iran made its annual military display—Army Day—with fighter jets and helicopters overhead and submarines on maneuvers in nearby waters.

“Enemies, particularly the Zionist regime, have received the message that any tiny action against (our) country will prompt a harsh answer from the armed forces, which will accompany the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv,” Raisi said.

President Raisi also demanded that the US leave the Middle East. And he seemed to indicate his Republic would like to join forces with Saudi Arabia.

“The hand of our armed forces warmly shakes the hand of the regional nations that intend to create security in the region.”

At the national memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem on Monday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu said Iran was like a modern-day Nazi Germany. He said Israel must be able to “defend itself by itself against any enemy, any threat.”

The next day, Raisi threatened the annihilation of major cities in Israel.

As Israel marked the day this year, fewer than 150,000 Holocaust survivors remain in the land. The official number of survivors living in Israel is 147,999, with the average age being 85.8 years old. There are 1,161 who are 100 years of age or older. Most (60 percent) of the survivors are women. The youngest ones are 76 years old—they were born the year after the war but are considered survivors because they were in the womb during the Holocaust. More than 60 percent are of European descent, but there are also survivors that escaped from the pogroms in Iraq, North Africa, and the former Soviet Union during WW II.

A powerful event during the day is when the entire country stops—for two minutes, sirens blare, and everyone stops whatever they are doing (including driving) to stand in silence and commemorate the loss of 6 million Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis.

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