Children of fallen MDA paramedic Oriel Bibi
Children of fallen MDA paramedic Oriel BibiEastside Studio

Just months after 14 of Magen David Adom’s ambulances were destroyed in the October 7th terrorist attacks on southern Israel, replacement vehicles donated by Samaritan’s Purse, the American evangelical humanitarian-aid organization, were dedicated today in a moving ceremony in Jerusalem.

For Magen David Adom (MDA), the ceremony also served to commemorate even more devastating losses the organization incurred during the terrorist attacks, when four of MDA’s medics were killed while actively treating patients or en route to the scene in an ambulance. Another 15 MDA medics have subsequently been killed in the war, mostly while serving in roles as medics for the Israel Defense Forces.

Parked at the plaza at the National Library of Israel, each of the 14 ambulances was dedicated in memory of an MDA medic killed in action. One by one, the inscriptions on the ambulances were unveiled, as family and friends got the chance to see and touch their loved one’s memorial ambulance for the first time.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see for myself how the men and women of MDA are risking their lives for others when I visited several of the communities in Israel that were brutally attacked,” said Franklin Graham, the president, and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse.

“At Samaritan’s Purse, we need to have the necessary equipment to do our work around the world, and MDA has to have the right equipment to do its work to save lives here in Israel. This is why we want to give MDA this gift to save lives,” he said. “It is an honor to dedicate these ambulances today, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to help MDA continue its heroic and exceptional work.”

In addition to the 14 ambulances dedicated today, Samaritan’s Purse is donating seven armored ambulances to MDA, which are still in production and will be dedicated some time this spring.

MDA Director General, Eli Bin: “I thank the members of "Samaritan's Purse" as well as their President Franklin Graham, for their generous donation of ambulances, which will help save many lives across the State of Israel during routine and emergency times. We thank them for their further donations towards the sacred cause of saving lives".

“At a time when the Israeli people — and Jews around the world — are feeling alone, this donation is so meaningful,” said Catherine L. Reed, CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom, MDA’s U.S.-based marketing and development arm. “It’s a testament to the fact that amid all the protests and the increase in anti-Semitism, the people of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community have friends they can count on.”

Rev. Graham in November first announced that Samaritan’s Purse would donate 21 ambulances, including the 14 dedicated in today’s ceremony, after seeing the devastation that occurred in Kibbutz Be’eri, a cooperative community near the Gaza border, in which 100 residents were brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists.