IFRC

IFRC pays tribute to the life-saving action of volunteers in Israel

Published: 2 September 2014 15:48 CET

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is saddened to learn of the death of Zeev Etzion, a life-long volunteer with the Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA). Mr Etzion, who died on 26 August in kibbutz Nirim, is one of the over 12,000 dedicated MDA volunteers who, since July, have been bringing life-saving support to people affected by the emergency situation in Israel.

“I was very sad to learn about this loss,” said the IFRC Vice-President Francesco Rocca, who witnessed the MDA’s ongoing operations at the Erez Crossing and in Ashdod, around 50 days after the beginning of the emergency situation in Israel and in the occupied Palestine territories.

Mr Rocca reiterated the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s call for the protection of volunteers who are providing much-needed assistance to affected population. “No aid worker should ever be exposed to acts of violence as they strive to deliver vital humanitarian assistance. I’d like to convey my appreciation to the team members who put their lives in harm's way to help others,” said Mr Rocca.

Throughout the emergency, MDA has been providing emergency medical and blood services to people affected by the conflict. The National Society is currently operating on the highest level of alert. The operational capacity of the society has been tripled, with all of its 1,000 emergency vehicles on constant standby, and all personnel – including some 1,800 staff and 12,000 volunteers – taking part in the humanitarian response.

“Due to the deterioration of the security situation, the safety of our staff has remained a great concern for us,” said MDA's Chairman of the Executive Committee, Dr. Noam Yifrach. “Particularly because, given the extended duration of this emergency phase, we have had to deploy additional volunteers and staff to operational areas.”

During his visit to Israel, Mr Rocca also went to see the MDA’s emergency medical activities at the Erez Crossing, located in the northern end of the Gaza Strip, where since 10 August, MDA teams have transferred over 70 injured people from Gaza to hospitals in Israel and abroad.

“The shortage of specialized surgeons and doctors in Gaza has increased the need for referral of casualties to outside hospitals,” said Mr Rocca.

On the day of the visit alone, 33 patients were transferred from the Erez Crossing to Ben Gurion Airport, where they were flown to Ankara in cooperation with authorities and the Turkish Red Crescent.




Support

Magen David Adom in Israel has launched a national emergency appeal to support those affected by the conflict.

‣ Donate (via MDA website)

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright