Following the revelation that Magen David Adom (MDA) agreed not to provide service to residents of Judea and Samaria in a deal with the Red Cross, several MKs are proposing that the group be legally obligated to serve all Israeli citizens.
MKs Uri Ariel (Ichud Leumi), Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), Avraham Michaeli (Shas) and Miri Regev (Likud) have put forth a bill that would extend MDA’s obligation to provide service in the entire state of Israel to cover Judea and Samaria, which have not been annexed to the state.
“Judea and Samaria are home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis, who are citizens with the same rights as any other,” the MKs explained. “They, like all citizens of Israel, have the right to know that in times of need they will be able to call on the national rescue service.”
The bill, if passed, “will allow MDA to withstand international pressure,” said Samaria spokesman David Haivri. “The Israeli organization will be able to point to a legal obligation imposed upon it by Knesset,” he explained.
Haivri called on the public to show its support for the bill, which is to face an initial vote on Sunday. Those in favor should contact MKs to express support for the measure and sign a petition calling on MDA to keep providing service in Judea and Samaria, he said.
The Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council has been forced to provide its own ambulance service, Haivri stated. The region has several goals related to medical care, among them replacing old and unsafe ambulances, providing advanced training to local medical staff, and building a regional emergency medical center.
The latter project has been approved by the Health Ministry, but requires fundraising by the Samaria municipality. Currently, Samaria residents in need of emergency care must travel to hospitals in central Israel.