As of press time, we were struggling to unravel a breaking story about an apparent realignment of ambulance and first responder assistance provided on both sides of the Green Line.
Magen David Adom, which has been the largest EMS agency in Israel coordinating the dispatch of ambulances and first responders, has reportedly advised the Israeli Ministry of Health that it would no longer dispatch its ambulances to five locations over the Green Line and sharply scale back its services in nine additional locations there after a dispute with the Netanyahu government over funding. However, MDA also announced that the Ministry of Health has designated MDA as the recognized dispatcher for all first responders in Israel.
United Hatzalah of Israel, which has approximately 5000 volunteer first responders and acted independently of MDA, announced that it would expand its ambulance and first responder services over the Green Line in order to pick up the slack caused by the MDA retrenchment.
Until several years ago, MDA ambulances bore a Magen Dovid or Jewish star as its insignia, despite the fact that the Arab-operated International Red Crescent claimed exclusive jurisdiction over ambulance services over the Green Line – notwithstanding the results of the Six Day War. It is our understanding that MDA agreed, however, to the gradual diminution of its role as an identifiable Jewish ambulance service over the Green Line as a condition of its membership in the International Red Cross in which it sought membership.
We will parse this all out and report back to our readers. We obviously think the safety of Yehuda and Shomron Israelis is of primary concern.