Between May 10 and 18, Hamas launched 3,440 rockets at Israeli cities in the Gaza periphery and beyond. Cities including Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion, Ramla, Lod, Nes Tziona, Mevaseret, Givat Shmuel, Petach Tikvah, and Bnei Brak were under fire. The rocket barrage claimed the lives of ten Israelis and injured dozens more.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs responded to emergency after emergency caused by the rocket attacks, as well as regular medical emergencies that didn’t stop just because of the conflict. The organization’s fully trained emergency medical service volunteers, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim alike, put themselves in harm’s way time and again to respond to medical emergencies during that tumultuous time.
While many of the volunteers in and near the Gaza periphery had full safety equipment, including a bulletproof helmet and vest, now that Hamas rockets were reaching a much wider area, additional protective equipment was needed for the volunteers in the larger area within range of Hamas rockets. An additional 1,500 bulletproof helmets and vests were required by the organization to outfit these first responders so they could safely conduct their essential lifesaving work with a basic level of protection.
United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer turned to The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and asked them to help support the effort and assist the organization in purchasing the much-needed equipment to protect the volunteers. The Helmsley Charitable Trust graciously agreed to sponsor 708 sets of vests and helmets, providing the safety gear to volunteers throughout the impacted area.
“The Helmsley Charitable Trust helped us during the national emergency facing the country in May and enabled us to purchase this equipment. Following the rocket attacks from Hamas earlier in the year, and the rising wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem, this protective gear is more vital than ever,” Beer said.
“Over the past few weeks, Israel saw an increasing number of terror attacks, especially around the old city of Jerusalem,” Beer continued. “Whenever our volunteers respond to such incidents, where their own lives may be put at risk, it is reassuring to know that they have this equipment that helps to protect them so that they can help those in need and return to their families and loved ones safe and sound after it is over. I cannot thank the Helmsley Charitable Trust enough for their continued support of our efforts to save lives in Israel. Thank you,” he concluded.