MDA, Israel’s largest provider of emergency response services, announced Wednesday that it will reduce operations in Judea and Samaria, beginning Thursday, amid a budget dispute with the Israeli government.
As part of the reduction in service, MDA will close its operations in the towns of Talmon in the Binyamin district of Samaria, in Dead Sea-area towns, and in the town of Tekoa, in the eastern Gush Etzion area south of Jerusalem.
In addition, operations in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem, will be reduced, with the city’s mobile intensive care unit take out of operation. Ambulances will continue to operate 24 hours a day.
In Givat Ze’ev, northwest of Jerusalem, and in Maaleh Adumim, east of the capital, ambulance service will be restricted to 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Yisrael Gantz, who leads the Binyamin Regional Council, blasted MDA for its decision to reduce operations in Judea and Samaria, saying the move would endanger the lives of residents.
“The leadership of MDA is endangering the lives of residents in Judea and Samaria, and especially of Binyamin. Apparently it is easier for the organization to fight with the State at the expense of residents of Judea and Samaria – even if that means endangering their lives.”
This is not the first time MDA has planned service reductions in Judea and Samaria during budget battles with the Finance Ministry.
In March, MDA was poised to shut down service at five stations in Judea and Samaria over a budget dispute with the government, though the closures were delayed and eventually cancelled.