With the generous donation by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson to Magen David Adom, new bulletproof ambulances can now service the needy in Judea and Samaria.
• Dr. Miriam Adelson, ‘How sad that ambulances have to be protected against deadly attacks.’
By Maytal Yasur Beit-Or and Efrat Forsher
A $1 million donation from Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson has enabled the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria to acquire five ambulances that have been bulletproofed to protect emergency personnel and patients from shooting attacks.
The Yesha Council welcomed the new vehicles in a ceremony at the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
The new ambulances will replace a number of 15-year-old ambulances currently in use by Magen David Adom. Four of the new vehicles will be stationed at Magen David Adom emergency medical service stations in Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron and Efrat, and the Ofra settlement in the Binyamin region. A fifth ambulance is currently being bulletproofed, and will be supplied to the MDA facility in the city of Ariel.
The ambulances are manufactured by Chevrolet and can function as regular ambulances or mobile intensive care units. They were bulletproofed in Israel to specifications from the IDF Homefront Command as part of ongoing cooperation between the Yesha Council and MDA, and equipped using materials that do not weigh them down.
The MDA paramedics and drivers who will be using the ambulances have undergone special training on driving during shooting attacks and confronting other threats.
The ambulances are a symbol of “our humaneness and vulnerability,”Dr. Miriam Adelson said at the ceremony.
“They [paramedics] take care of the wounded, prevent loss of life, and sometimes even help bring life into the world when they attend to women who are in labor. The speed and efficiency with which the ambulances respond to those in need are an indication of the society’s morality,” she said.
“How sad that some of the MDA ambulances, like the ones you see before you today, have to be protected against deadly attacks. How sad that the enemies of Israel do not hesitate to shoot at or throw rocks at vehicles whose only purpose is to provide medical assistance. In Judea and Samaria, of course, MDA doesn’t only treat Jews; many Palestinians will be treated by Israel’s ambulance service. Many Muslim and Christian lives will be saved. Maybe this will prompt our enemies to think in a new way.”
MDA Director General Eli Bin said, “A bulletproof ambulance provides a lot of protection to the medical teams, and also to the wounded and ill transported in it through the West Bank, who need a solution to shootings or terrorist attacks.”
Head of security in the Yesha Council Shlomo Vaaknin thanked the Adelsons for their donation, saying, “Bulletproof ambulances have saved many lives, and mainly facilitated the treatment of patients without distraction by letting them concentrate on the treatment rather than fearing what is happening around them.”
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Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson own the company that is the primary shareholder of Israel Hayom.