Polish and Israeli leaders have opened ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the ill-fated Jewish uprising against Nazi troops in Poland's Warsaw ghetto.

Israeli President Shimon Peres joined his Polish counterpart, Lech Kaczynski, Tuesday for a ceremony at the site from which the Nazis ultimately sent some 300,000 Jews to death camps.

Mr. Peres praised those who resisted the Nazis, saying that although they lost the battle, they scored a "victory of humanity over human bestiality."

The uprising began on April 19, 1943, and lasted for three weeks. A few hundred young Jews took up arms to resist deportation to Nazi extermination camps.

The Nazis outnumbered and outgunned the fighters, who used homemade explosives and smuggled weapons. Nazi forces killed most of the fighters and burned the ghetto.

It was the first major act of armed civilian resistance in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and PAP.