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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening ceremony of the annual Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a speech at Israel's annual Holocaust commemorations on Wednesday to call for action against Syria following a suspected poison gas attack.

The United States has threatened air strikes against Syria over the use of chemical weapons that Syria and its ally Russia deny.

"The events of the last days teach that standing up to evil and aggression is a mission that is incumbent upon every generation," Netanyahu said at the Holocaust commemorations' opening ceremony, without explicitly referring to the standoff between Washington and Moscow.

"We saw the Syrian children who were slaughtered with chemical weapons. Our hearts were rent by the horrific sights."

Netanyahu also invoked the lessons of World War Two and the Holocaust to call for action against Iran, criticising the nuclear deal Tehran signed with six world powers.

"The lack of willingness among the powers of the West to stand firm in the face of the tyrannical regime, their lack of willingness to pay the price of stopping aggression at an early stage, led to humanity paying a much greater price later on," he said.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Reuters