Since before 1948, Magen David Adom has been saving lives in what was Palestine and is now Israel. The organisation receives one emergency call a minute and responds through one of its 109 ambulances and 14,000 medics, paramedics and volunteers. However, Magen David Adom is not just an ordinary ambulance service. It is part of the fabric of Israeli society and a humanitarian organisation that saves lives in Haiti, Sri Lanka, Thailand and many places more.
As a non-governmental, non-sectarian body, Magen David Adom has a responsibility to all Israel’s citizens. So, in 2007 Magen David Adom opened a new ambulance station in the Israeli-Arab town of Sakhnin. This represented a breakthrough moment for the organisation. It was the first newly built station in an Arab town. The station in Sakhnin has enabled all Israel’s citizens to have a responsibility for each other. For it is here that Jews and Arabs come together to save more lives.
At the most recent Emergency Medical Training course in the region, all but one of the participants were Arab citizens of Israel. This has led to Sakhnin rapidly becoming a model of integration and social cohesion.
Nothing epitomises this more than the story of Ali Shakhada. Ali, 37, is one of Sakhnin’s 25,000 Arab Citizens and he has Magen David Adom in his blood. “My father was an ambulance driver since 1979. I grew up with ambulances around me. Magen David Adom is part of our family and now my brother and I are also medics and ambulances drivers in the Sakhnin station.”
The town’s population is just 30,000 but the Magen David Adom station in the area serves a further 100,000 people – Jews, Arabs, Christians and Druze. Sakhnin therefore is a place where race, religion and ethnicity are overlooked, as individuals come together for a common goal.
“As part of the UK Task Force we hope that our community will realise the extent to which, through Magen David Adom, it is saving the lives of ALL Israelis.”
Daniel Burger, Magen David Adom Chief Executive
28 November 2016
Haifa, which is considered a beacon of urban co-existence in Israel, and where around 11 percent of the 250,000 residents are Arab, all who spoke to The Times of Israel said they were sure that if arsonists were involved in the flames, they weren’t natives of the city. No son or daughter of Haifa — Arab or Jew — they contended, could burn their own beloved city.
28 November 2016
Mohammed Na’arani, 33, a Magen David Adom medic, described breaking into an apartment on Einstein Street in the Romema neighborhood, together with the police, to evacuate two elderly people with breathing problems. “It was a dangerous situation,” he said.
Na’arani began volunteering for MDA 18 years ago and has been working for the ambulance service since he was 20. Asked how he feels when he hears ministers blaming the Arab community while he works to rescue people, he said, “When I’m working, I don’t think about it at all. Later, at home, it’s hard not to think about it. But that passes, too.”
1 September 2016
Jewish, Muslim, Christian volunteers work side by side for United Hatzalah, Magen David Adom and ZAKA to aid victims of accident and illness.
7 June 2016
Hundreds of meals donated to Magen David Adom as part of effort to provide meals to needy Muslim families during fast days of Ramadan; Modeled on projects during Jewish holidays, Arab volunteer says he was 'shocked that people gave so generously.'
12 August 2015
When Magen David Adom senior paramedic Ziad Dawiyat answered a call to assist a woman in advanced labor last Sunday in Jerusalem, the father who answered the door immediately recognized the number 12 on the ambulance Dawiyat had just parked in front of the apartment house. It was in that ambulance that Dawiyat, an Arab-Israeli, had transported Chana and Shmuel Braun’s three-month-old infant Chaya Zissel after she was fatally injured last October when terrorist Abdel-Rahman Shaludeh plowed his car into her stroller on the platform of a Jerusalem light-rail station.
11 August 2015
Ten months ago, Arab-Israeli Magen David Adom paramedic Ziad Dawiyat was on duty when a Palestinian man drove his car into a crowd waiting at a Jerusalem light rail station, killing an Ecuadorian tourist as well as Hanna and Shmuel Braun’s baby. Dawiyat transported the critically injured Braun to the hospital in his ambulance. Dawiyat, a senior MDA paramedic, and his team were dispatched to the ultra-Orthodox couple’s Jerusalem home.