A moving ceremony took place on Tuesday morning in the National Library’s courtyard in the Government Complex, dedicating 14 new ambulances donated in memory of Magen David Adom’s personnel who were murdered in the line of duty or killed in defense of the State. The ceremony, attended by the bereaved families, the President of “Samaritan’s Purse” Mr. Franklin Graham and his daughter Mrs. Cissie Graham-Lynch, saw an ambulance dedicated to each one of the fallen. The inscriptions on the ambulances were revealed one after the other in front of the family and friends of those murdered, ensuring the memories of their loved ones.
The new ambulances were donated by “Samaritan’s Purse,” an organization dedicated to assisting humanitarian bodies, along with a further 7 ambulances donated by them, including bullet-proof ambulances, that will be dedicated at a later date in memory of 5 further volunteers who fell during the war. The new ambulances will be stationed in the regions where the fallen staff volunteered, only a few months after MDA ambulances were destroyed by terrorists during the October 7th terror attacks.
Honored guests at the ceremony included President of Samaritan’s Purse Mr. Franklin Graham, his daughter Mrs. Cissie Graham-Lynch, his deputy Mr. Ken Isaacs, and MDA Director General Eli Bin. Also present were Director of the Foreign Ministry Yaakov Blitshtein, MK and Deputy Knesset Chair Moshe Solomon, and MKs Erez Malul and Tatiana Mazarsky, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, Netivot Deputy Mayor Yaakov Maalimi, Head of Shlomi Regional Authority Gavriel Naaman, Head of Eshkol Regional Authority Gad Yarkoni, heads of the MDA Friends’ Societies in Israel, America and the Christian Friends, and the organization’s management team along with staff and volunteers.
Samaritan’s Purse, based in North Carolina, is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, that provides aid to people in crisis. The organization is active in over 100 countries, providing aid to victims of war, disease, disasters, poverty, starvation and persecution.
President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, Rev. Franklin Graham: “Samaritan’s Purse provides relief in crises across the world – in war, famine and storms. We are often asked why we do this. I am a Christian who loves Israel and believe that the Jewish people are the chosen people. I heard that Magen David Adom lost 14 ambulances, without a second thought I decided to donate one ambulance for each one that was destroyed, I felt that MDA’s ambulances needed to be immediately replaced. During my visit here I had the opportunity to see how MDA staff risk their lives to save the lives of others, “Samaritan’s Purse” has the tools to help, and we will continue to help Magen David Adom, and continue to cooperate in the future.”
Jerusalem Mayor, Mr. Moshe Leon: “We are here today, on the toughest day since we entered the Gaza Strip. 21 families will never again be the same. I send my condolences to the families and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Today we are symbolically dedicating 14 new ambulances that will save thousands of Israelis’ lives. MDA is the largest and leading life-saving organization in Israel. I thank our generous donor and greatly appreciate his important contribution to saving lives in Jerusalem and across Israel. Thank you.”
Director of Foreign Ministry, Yaakov Blitshtein: “One of the things that stood out on October 7th was the direct attack on medical facilities and equipment, that prevented relief being provided to the victims, and led to casualties among the teams themselves. This is one of the most horrifying sights of my life, we stand here today in their memory, Rev. Graham mentioned the importance of a strong, national rescue organization, not just during national catastrophes, but also during routine events. MDA staff and volunteers, who I call real heroes, are the lifesavers. Thanks to Samaritan’s Purse, we are dedicating 14 new ambulances. My wish for us all is that these ambulances will be for delivering babies and nothing else.”
CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom, Mrs. Catherine L. Reed: “With Israeli citizens and Jews across the world are feeling alone, this donation is incredibly significant. It is proof of the fact that despite all those protesting against Israel, and the rise in antisemitism, the people in Israel and Jews worldwide have friends who they can trust.”
Ofir Levi, father of Lior Levi HY”D who fell on the morning of the Black Saturday: “My name is Ofir, I’m the father of Lior Levi, a brave soldier who fell aged 19. Lior was the image of compassion and bravery, who always strove to save lives. She started volunteering in MDA as part of the schools project, and quickly found her second home there. Her dream was to be a surgeon, but her fate change on that awful day, when the country was attacked and Lior was murdered. Her contribution, and that of her MDA colleagues, who fell in dedication, will continue each time that one of these 14 ambulances will head to a call. These ambulances will be a symbol of bravery, life and hope, and they will continue the legacy of those who died. We thank everyone who donated to and supported this important project, that brings light into the mourning.”
MDA Director General Eli Bin: “Today, as we meet to dedicate 14 new ambulances, our hearts are heavy with the loss of 24 brave soldiers killed overnight in the war. This is a day of deep pain and mourning for us all, a day that reminds us how heavy the toll can be at times, when we are contributing to the nation. We are dedicating these new ambulances in memory of MDA staff and volunteers who were murdered while saving lives or fell in the line of duty while fighting to defend the country. Each ambulance, dedicated in memory of someone who fell, will serve the community in the area where they lived, will continue their legacy, and will keep the memory of their life-saving activities alive. We hold the grieving families close, and they will forever remain members of the MDA family. We see here today the deep connection between our friends at “Samaritan’s Purse” and the State of Israel. I thank the members of “Samaritan’s Purse” as well as their President Franklin Graham and his deputy Ken Isaacs, for their generous donation of ambulances and medical equipment that, that will help save many lives across the State of Israel during routine and emergency times. We also thank them for their further donations towards the sacred cause of saving lives.”
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