Samaritan’s Purse Provides Ambulances in Honor of Fallen Israeli Medics

January 23, 2024 • Israel

Franklin Graham dedicated the vehicles to God’s glory and thanked Magen David Adom. “We love you, and we stand with you.”

Israel Response

Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham joined hundreds of Israeli citizens on Jan. 23 to dedicate 14 new ambulances for Magen David Adom, the nation’s emergency medical services provider. Graham honored the sacrifices of 19 members of Magen David Adom who have been killed since Oct. 7, the start of the current Israel-Hamas war.

Franklin Graham spoke at The National Library of Israel during a dedication of ambulances to Israeli medical services.

Franklin Graham spoke at The National Library of Israel during a dedication of ambulances to Israeli medical services.

“We don’t always understand why these things happen—why tragedy happens. But we have faith in God and know that He loves us,” Graham said, addressing the families of four fallen medical personnel. “We pray that these ambulances will bring comfort to the people of Israel, knowing that someone can respond to any crisis, so we thank God and we thank God for this organization.”

All 14 ambulances dedicated today were provided by Samaritan’s Purse and dedicated in memory of the fallen. Samaritan’s Purse will also be providing eight additional ambulances, with armor plating, to Magen David Adom.

“Some may ask, why are we doing this?” Graham said. “I’m an evangelical Christian who loves Israel. I believe the Bible teaches that Israel is God’s people. There have been many battles that Israel has had to fight for its freedom.

The 14 ambulances, uparmored to defend against Hamas attacks, will help protect Magen David Adom members as they render aid to the wounded.

These 14 ambulances will help Magen David Adom members as they render aid to the sick and wounded.

“My father [Billy Graham] supported Israel. He believed the Bible. I believe the Bible, and I believe every word of the Bible. I don’t understand it all, but I believe it,” Graham said at the National Library in Jerusalem. “We give God the glory. The funds to pay for these ambulances came from Christian people. So, we dedicate these ambulances to God, to His glory, and we honor those who have lost their lives.

In addition to ambulances provided to Magen David Adom, Graham also committed Samaritan’s Purse to providing new ambulance stations in communities that are most at risk of targeted attacks.

Franklin Graham comforted those who had gathered to remember the fallen Magen David Adom members.

Franklin Graham comforted those who had gathered to remember the fallen Magen David Adom members.

“I would like to express my deep appreciation and thank first and foremost the president of the organization, Reverend Franklin Graham, for his keen ear for the needs of Magen David Adom and the people of Israel and his open heart to help in whatever is needed,” said Eli Bin, director general of Magen David Adom. “On this day, I would like to commend the memory of our fallen heroes and pray for the safety of the IDF soldiers, for the speedy recovery of the wounded, and for the immediate return of the abductees safe and sound to their families.”

Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) have been on the ground since Oct. 10, providing many tons of relief to aid suffering families displaced by the violence. So far this has included 18,500 food boxes, nearly 4,000 hot meals, and more than 18,000 food vouchers to families in need. We have also airlifted 1,000 emergency trauma kits, as well as gift boxes for children affected by the Oct. 7 attacks.

Continued Fighting, Ongoing Support

The night before the dedication event, 24 more Israeli Defense Force soldiers were killed in Gaza.

These deaths gave even greater weight to the gathering. Among the hundreds in attendance were Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

The pictures of those who lost their lives in the war against Hamas were placed inside the ambulance windows for onlookers to remember their sacrifice.

A father of a fallen medic was also there. His daughter, Lior, was killed in this war.

“[My daughter] was a brave soldier, and I address you as a bereaved father, as someone who has lost the one dearest to him in the entire world,” Lior’s father, Ophir, said. “[She was] full of compassion, with a big heart. Helping others and saving lives were always in the front of her eyes.

“These are not just vehicles, but a symbol of life, courage, and hope. Every time an ambulance goes on a mission, it will be like Lior and her friends are still helping and saving lives.”

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion expressed gratitude for support from Graham and Samaritan’s Purse.

“We’re standing here at a very important event for the state of Israel, for Jerusalem, for Magen David Adom, and for the people of Israel,” Lion said. “The organization you donated the ambulances to is an organization that from the first shot was already out there in the field. Every single ambulance saves dozens of lives.”

Following the ceremony, Graham joined family members and dignitaries as they gathered around ambulances, each adorned by photos of fallen Magen David Adom members and Scripture verses written in Hebrew and in English.

A man looks aghast at the ruins of a home attacked in Ashkelon, Israel, on Oct. 7.
Israel Response Samaritan’s Purse is helping meet the physical and spiritual needs of people on both sides of the Israel-Hamas war. In partnership with local churches and ministry partners, we are bringing urgently needed relief to communities deeply impacted by the conflict.

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