Photo Credit: MDA Spokesperson
"Samaritan's Purse" President Franklin Graham unveils one of 14 ambulances donated by the organization to Magen David Adom (MDA) to replace those destroyed in the Oct. 7 invasion and massacre by Hamas-led terrorists in southern Israel. Jan. 23, 2024

A moving ceremony took place Tuesday morning in the National Library courtyard in the Government Complex to dedicate 14 new ambulances donated in memory of the Magen David Adom (MDA) personnel who were murdered in the line of duty or killed in defense of the State.

The new ambulances were donated by “Samaritan’s Purse,” an organization dedicated to assisting humanitarian bodies.


The ceremony, attended by the bereaved families, “Samaritan’s Purse” President Franklin Graham and his daughter Cissie Graham-Lynch, dedicated one ambulance for each one of the fallen MDA medics.

The inscriptions on the ambulances were revealed during the ceremony, one after the other, in front of the family and friends of those who were murdered, assuring them their loved ones will be remembered forever.

An additional seven ambulances, including bulletproof ambulances, have also been donated by the organization and are to be dedicated at a later date in memory of five more MDA volunteers who fell during the war.

The new ambulances, to be stationed in the regions where the fallen staff volunteered, have arrived just a few months after MDA ambulances were destroyed during the October 7th invasion and massacre by Hamas-led terrorists in southern Israel.

Honored guests at the ceremony also included Mr. Graham’s deputy Ken Isaacs, and MDA Director General Eli Bin. Also present were Director of the Foreign Ministry Yaakov Blitshtein, MK and Deputy Knesset Chair Moshe Solomon, and MKs Erez Malul and Tatiana Mazarsky, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, Netivot Deputy Mayor Yaakov Maalimi, Head of Shlomi Regional Authority Gavriel Naaman, Head of Eshkol Regional Authority Gad Yarkoni, heads of the MDA Friends’ Societies in Israel, America and the Christian Friends, and the organization’s management team along with staff and volunteers.

Samaritan’s Purse, based in North Carolina, is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, that provides aid to people in crisis. The organization is active in more than 100 countries worldwide, providing aid to victims of war, disease, disasters, poverty, starvation and persecution.

“We are often asked why we do this. I am a Christian who loves Israel and believe that the Jewish people are the chosen people,” Graham said in his remarks.

“I heard that Magen David Adom lost 14 ambulances, without a second thought I decided to donate one ambulance for each one that was destroyed; I felt that MDA’s ambulances needed to be immediately replaced.

“During my visit here I had the opportunity to see how MDA staff risk their lives to save the lives of others. “Samaritan’s Purse” has the tools to help, and we will continue to help Magen David Adom, and continue to cooperate in the future,” Graham pledged.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon noted that the ceremony took place on “the toughest day since we entered the Gaza Strip: 21 families will never again be the same.” The mayor sent his condolences to the families of the IDF soldiers who were killed in action and his wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded earlier this week.

“Today we are symbolically dedicating 14 new ambulances that will save thousands of Israelis’ lives … I thank our generous donor and greatly appreciate his important contribution to saving lives in Jerusalem and across Israel. Thank you.”

“One of the things that stood out on October 7th was the direct attack on medical facilities and equipment, that prevented relief being provided to the victims, and led to casualties among the teams themselves,” Foreign Ministry Director Yaakov Blitshtein pointed out. “This was one of the most horrifying sights of my life. We stand here today in their memory … My wish for us all is that these ambulances will be used for delivering babies and nothing else.”

CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom, Mrs. Catherine L. Reed emphasized the significance of the donation “with Israeli citizens and Jews across the world feeling alone,” calling it “proof of the fact that despite all those protesting against Israel, and the rise in antisemitism, the people in Israel and Jews worldwide have friends who they can trust.”

Ofir Levi, father of Lior Levi HY”D who fell on the morning of October 7th, noted that his child was killed at the age of 19.

“Lior was the image of compassion and bravery, who always strove to save lives. She started volunteering in MDA as part of the schools project, and quickly found her second home there. Her dream was to be a surgeon, but her fate change on that awful day, when the country was attacked and Lior was murdered. Her contribution, and that of her MDA colleagues, who fell in dedication, will continue each time that one of these 14 ambulances will head to a call. These ambulances will be a symbol of bravery, life and hope, and they will continue the legacy of those who died. We thank everyone who donated to and supported this important project, that brings light into the mourning.”

“Our hearts are heavy with the loss of 24 brave soldiers killed overnight in the war,” said MDA Director-General Eli Bin.

“This is a day of deep pain and mourning for us all, a day that reminds us how heavy the toll can be at times, when we are contributing to the nation.

“We are dedicating these new ambulances in memory of MDA staff and volunteers who were murdered while saving lives or fell in the line of duty while fighting to defend the country.

“Each ambulance, dedicated in memory of someone who fell, will serve the community in the area where they lived, will continue their legacy, and will keep the memory of their life-saving activities alive.

“We see here today the deep connection between our friends at “Samaritan’s Purse” and the State of Israel. I thank the members of “Samaritan’s Purse” as well as their President Franklin Graham and his deputy Ken Isaacs, for their generous donation of ambulances and medical equipment that will help save many lives across the State of Israel during routine and emergency times. We also thank them for their further donations towards the sacred cause of saving lives.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.