United Hatzalah looks to fill in as MDA leaves Judea and Samaria

Following notice that MDA will be forced to halt activities in Judea, Samaria over budget issues, United Hatzalah aims to expand services.

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David Rosenberg,

United Hatzalah volunteers
United Hatzalah volunteers
Courtesy of United Hatzalah

While Israel’s largest emergency medical response service recently disclosed that it would soon be forced to halt operations in Judea and Samaria amid serious budget issues, a second organization of volunteer emergency first responders has pledged to expand its activities in the area.

Magen David Adom (MDA) Director-General Eli Bin informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that MDA would have to stop life-saving services in Judea and Samaria, after the government failed to transfer funds allocated for MDA’s operations in the area.

"The fiscal year is ending and this absurd situation of uncertainty creates an arrears of close to 13 million shekels in MDA's purse, of which 5.5 million shekels is for the year 2016,” Bin wrote to the Prime Minister.

"Although this is a small sum compared to amounts approved by the government and with which it is accustomed to deal, to an organization such as Magen David Adom it represents a severe blow that causes the year to end with a deficit that will affect all services to the residents of the State of Israel."

Following the revelation, Eli Beer, President of United Hatzalah, vowed to increase his organization’s operations in Judea and Samaria to compensate for MDA’s anticipated absence.

“We have learned from various media publications that due to a conflict over a budget, MDA is threatening to halt its services in Judea and Samaria and that this situation may cause a loss of life,” said Beer.

“Therefore, we have raised the alert level of our volunteers all over Judea and Samaria to its highest level. Similarly, we are repositioning some of our ambulances to cover parts of Judea and Samaria so that they can provide transport to the hospital for those injured and sick who need it. The organization believes that helping the residents of these areas is of the utmost importance.”

“Like all of our operations, our services in Judea and Samaria will be accomplished by our volunteers and will be free of charge. United Hatzalah’s 4,000 volunteers are spread all across Israel with the goal of arriving at the scene of any medical emergency in under three minutes. All of our services are free of charge and our only mission is to save lives. If there are any doctors or paramedics in the area who wish to volunteer with United Hatzalah, they are welcome to contact the organization via its website.”