Kerry in Jerusalem for Holocaust Remembrance amid search for new peace talks


Secretary of State John Kerry lays a wreath during the annual ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Yad Vashem memorial on April 8, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.


Gali Tibbon-Pool

Secretary of State John Kerry joined Israel's president and prime minister in Jerusalem on Monday for the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

For two minutes at 10 a.m. sirens wailed in remembrance for the 6 million Jews killed by Nazi Germany and their collaborators as commemorations were held across Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres recalled those murdered in his hometown of Wiszniew, Poland.

"I will never forget what was done to them. They were sent to a wooden synagogue and murdered with gunshots and fire," Peres said at the "Every Man Has a Name" ceremony.

The day of remembrance, or "Yom Hashoah," began on Sunday evening to mark the 70th anniversary (according to the Hebrew calender) of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during World War II.

The day was marred by reports of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

No one was killed or injured, but the Israeli military shut the Gaza crossing.

Also on Sunday, a senior State Department official told The Washington Post that Kerry had spoken with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about possible new talks for peace between Palestine and Israel.   

More from GlobalPost: Kerry keeps low profile in Israel while seeking peace talks

Kerry is supposed to meet with officials from both sides in Jerusalem on Monday and Tuesday.

“As we know, no peace process is easy. It always takes courage and determination, the willingness to speak out to overcome years of mistrust and of bloodshed, and this moment is no different,” Kerry said on Sunday from Istanbul.