As the conflict in Israel and Gaza continues, Samaritan's Purse is supporting more than 80 church partners between the two sides. We can't talk about all of Samaritan’s Purse work in this region for security purposes, but one element we can discuss is our support to a local emergency service agency in Israel called Magen David Adom. Samaritan's Purse has committed to replacing 21 of their ambulances that were destroyed by Hamas. Kristy was able to talk to two Israeli first responders, Uri and Hadass. They both work for Magen David Adom and were actively involved in the response on October 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel.
Magen David Adom is unique in that it is a diverse organization with Jews, Christians, and Muslims working together in order to save lives in Israel. About 10 percent of Magen David Adom team members are staff and the rest are volunteers. Hadass is 25 years old and she has been a paramedic for the past six years in the Jerusalem region. She expressed that during her time serving, she has been no stranger to terror. Uri started volunteering at the age of 15 just outside the city of Nazareth. Now, he is a full-time worker with Magen David Adom.
“I think everyone in Magen David Adom, the first thing that goes in their mind is the fact that they want to save lives. We always care about our safety and our patients’ safety and our teammates’ safety.”—Hadass
For the past couple of weeks, Magen David Adom stations across the country have prepared warm meals for local people. Volunteers and workers alike have made themselves available to come alongside those who are hurting and listen to them. There is great unity amongst Magen David Adom teams because everyone wants to save lives.
“I think that at the end of the day, when the Magen David Adom people go to help others, they are selfless, and they care for the others. For me, it was like seeing a tunnel vision that in the middle of it is somebody that needs my help. I'm not seeing or not feeling the mortar shells that are being shot towards me, nor the bullets that are flying above my head.”—Uri
Hadass and Uri recounted what it was like the morning of October 7 when Hamas attacked. First responders wore special armored vests and helmets as they went into the gunfire to help the wounded. Hadass treated 13 patients, and all of them survived. Unfortunately, 11 Magen David Adom friends and colleagues were lost that day.
“Civilians all just woke up for their Saturday and holiday morning all dressed in holiday clothes, and were just murdered and butchered in the street.” —Hadass
Though this day was a tragedy, the Lord was working. For no apparent reason, Magen David Adom was in a high alert status that morning, which means that more ambulances were stationed at the homes of volunteers.
“October 7th was a day of enormous tragedy on the one hand, and within this tragedy, it was a day of miracles for many people.” —Uri
Magen David Adom cannot do what they do without the help of ambulances. Ambulances were destroyed by Hamas during the attack, so to help Samaritan’s Purse is giving 21 ambulances to Magen David Adom and providing much-needed equipment that was lost. Seven of the ambulances will be armored—more than doubling their fleet of armored ambulances from before the war.
Please pray that God will give strength and endurance to the men and women of Magen David Adom. Pray for Samaritan’s Purse staff and church partners serving faithfully despite the danger in the region. If you’d like to keep up to date with more stories on the ground, please visit SamaritansPurse.org.