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Fire Forces Evacuation of Israeli Holocaust Memorial


An out of control wildfire has forced the evacuation of Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

Spokeswoman Estee Yaari says the evacuation proceeded calmly. She says the area is very smoky, but the fire has not reached Yad Vashem and the building has not been damaged. Spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP that only one person was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Yad Vashem houses tens of thousands of documents and artifacts from the Holocaust.

The savage fire broke out on the nearby forested hills on Jerusalem's southwest flank. Firefighters are on the scene, but officials say the blaze is not yet under control, as fire fighters attempt to douse the flames with diving aircraft.

Yad Vashem is the main museum in Israel commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime during World War II, and is a major source of research on Nazi persecution and the Jewish communities lost in the Holocaust.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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