Magen David Adom is the State of Israel’s sole aid and disaster relief organization and was founded in 1930 in response to injuries inflicted on the Jewish population of Palestine during the riots of 1929.
Today, Magen David Adom operates according to the standards of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and was officially granted membership to the organization in 2006.
The Magen David Adom charter defines the organization's objectives as providing medical service for the Israel Defense Forces in time of war, supplying general first aid services, maintaining blood storage services, providing transportation for patients and the evacuation of victims of road accidents.
The organization was founded by physicians, members of the pre-state military, and citizens and in the early years of Magen David Adom’s creation, the organization was faced with limited resources and limited numbers of volunteers. During World War II, Magen David Adom operated in the Jewish Legion of the British Forces and began training Hanagah fighters and providing first aid throughout the 1930s and 1940s in pre-state Palestine. With the creation of the State of Israel, the organization also assisted in establishing the IDF medical corps.
In 1950, the Knesset ratified the Magen David Adom Law, designating the organization as Israel’s National Red Cross Society. Magen David Adom has since played a major role in providing lifesaving services during times of war, terrorist attacks, and for accidents and emergencies in peacetime.
The organization is also supported through a network of Magen David Adom societies in the Diaspora. Donations from supporters such as the American Friends of Magen David Adom enable the organization to purchase ambulances and lifesaving equipment.
Drownings occured at Givat Olga beach, near Hadera. One of the victims, a 40-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene; the second man, who was 30, was taken to nearby hospital, where resuscitation efforts failed.
Footage of terror attacks show Israeli medical staff standing by as Palestinian assailants lie wounded on the ground; the incidents put the national rescue service, which officially isn't meant to operate in the territories, in an embarrassing position.
By Shay Fogelman
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