MK Maklev: Let Hatzalah Aid Members Carry Guns

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) said Sunday that volunteers of the United Hatzalah emergency rescue organization should be allowed to carry weapons.

Yaakov Levi ,

Scene of the Har Nof massacre
Scene of the Har Nof massacre
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Jewry) said Sunday that volunteers of the United Hatzalah organization should be allowed to carry weapons. In a letter to Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, Maklev said that allowing the volunteers to carry such weapons would increase security for Israelis.

“In light of the tense situation these days and the difficulties around us, as terror attacks against innocent civilians increase, United Hatzalah members should also be carrying weapons,” Maklev wrote. Doing so, he said, would place them in the same category as Magen David Adom volunteers, who are allowed to carry weapons.

“United Hatzalah members are deeply involved in their communities, which are usually densely populated, and they are available at all times,” he said. “They are often the first to arrive at a scenario and provide first aid and to save lives during the aftermath of terror attacks.”

During the recent terror attack in Har Nof, United Hatzalah volunteers responded within minutes of the attack on Jews praying in the Kehillat Bnai Torah Yeshiva Synagogue on Agassi Street during Shacharit (morning) prayers. Arie Shavit, a volunteer medic for United Hatzalah, was one of the first to arrive at the scene."Two terrorists infiltrated the synagogue and massacred worshipers during prayer," he told Arutz Sheva after the attack, noting the worshipers were "wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries. I and other volunteers of United Hatzalah provided primary care to a number of casualties suffering from different injuries, and unfortunately some of them were injured critically," he continued. "The police came and neutralized the terrorists. This was an attack - one which included shootings and stabbings.”

“Providing weapons to these volunteers will provide extra protection, both for the volunteers as they work to save lives, and for those in the neighborhoods that are under threat, allowing them to assist until security officials arrive,” he added.

Hatzalah is a volunteer emergency rescue service staffed by Orthodox religious Jews.