Over the last six days, three people have been killed, 99 injured, and hundreds more are suffering from anxiety and emotional trauma following rocket attacks and rising tensions between Israel and Gaza. In order to provide emergency assistance to civilians, the Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA) has mobilized volunteers, staff and material to the south of the country.
MDA personnel and vehicles from other regions have also been dispatched to Negev, Lachish, Dan, Ayalon and the Jerusalem region, which are all in range of the rockets coming from Gaza, and are operating at Level 3 alert, the highest possible level. MDA volunteers are fully mobilized, with more than 1000 volunteers directly involved in the operation.
As the attacks continue, the numbers of casualties and the needs increase by the hour.
A disaster situation has been declared by the government in the 40km surrounding the Gaza Strip, with strict limitations on public gatherings, causing schools and the university to close.
Chaim Rafalowski, MDA’s Disaster Management Coordinator, said staff and volunteers had been working around the clock since the crisis began. “The sirens go off several times a day, and everyone jumps, waiting for the unknown,” he said. “The reality is sad, and the population is under tremendous pressure. We are doing our best to assist them in every possible way.”
Eli Bin, MDA Director General, has activated MDA's contingency plans for a war situation, and requested the organization’s Blood Services to increase the collection of blood in the North of the country and to enlist the activity of the blood services reserve unit, in order to enhance the supplies of all the blood banks in Israel.
In addition, a crisis room has been established at MDA's national headquarters, and managers are participating in coordination meetings and monitoring the situation closely to ensure the organization is able to meet the needs of those who may be affected by the crisis.