Franklin Graham dedicates 14 ambulances to Israeli medics killed by Hamas

Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse dedicate 14 ambulances to fallen medics in Israel on Jan. 23, 2024.
Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse dedicate 14 ambulances to fallen medics in Israel on Jan. 23, 2024. | Samaritan's Purse

Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and president of Samaritan's Purse, dedicated 14 new ambulances in Israel during a ceremony honoring the medics who have fallen in the country's ongoing war against Hamas.

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday at the National Library in Jerusalem to witness the dedication ceremony, including Yaakov Blitshtein, the director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Magen David Adom Director-General Eli Bin. 

According to a Tuesday statement provided to The Christian Post, the international Evangelical aid charity Samaritan's Purse provided the ambulances to Magen David Adom, Israel's national ambulance and emergency services agency. 

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On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel, slaughtering at least 1,200 people, primarily civilians, and the terror group seized around 240 individuals as hostages. In response, Israel declared itself in a state of war and launched a counter-attack in Gaza to eradicate the terrorist group that has run Gaza since 2007. 

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, over 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began. That figure makes no distinction between combatants and noncombatants and doesn't differentiate between people killed by Israel Defense Forces and those killed by errant rockets fired by Gaza-based terror groups. 

Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse dedicate 14 ambulances to fallen medics in Israel on Jan. 23, 2024.
Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse dedicate 14 ambulances to fallen medics in Israel on Jan. 23, 2024. | Samaritan's Purse

The 14 ambulances Samaritan's Purse donated to Magen David Adom is the same number of ambulances Hamas terrorists destroyed during the Oct. 7 attack, according to the statement.

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began, at least 19 medics in Israel have been killed. 

Catherine L. Reed, CEO of American Friends of Magen David Adom, the marketing arm of Magen David Adom, called the donation "meaningful" given the current state of affairs. Reed stated that many Israeli people and Jews around the world are feeling alone at the moment. 

"It's a testament to the fact that amid all the protests and the increase in anti-Semitism, the people of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community have friends they can count on," she said.

In addition to the 14 ambulances, Samaritan's Purse says it plans to donate seven more armored ambulances to Magen David Adom.

"I believe in this organization. You risk your life to save life, and I felt that these ambulances needed to be replaced immediately," Graham said. "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 MDA."

Ophir Levy is the father of Lior Levy, a 19-year-old medic killed by Hamas. Levy's name is inscribed on the 14 ambulances donated by Samaritan's Purse, along with the names of other medics who have fallen.

During the dedication ceremony, the families of the slain medics saw the inscriptions for the first time. 

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

Graham announced on Tuesday that Samaritan's Purse will continue to help Magen David Adom by providing new ambulance stations in communities that are frequently at risk. 

"There are no words that can comfort you or express our deep sorrow for the loss," said Eli Bin, who leads Magen David Adom. "At a time when countries and international organizations chose to look away and ignore the horrors experienced by the people of Israel, Samaritan's Purse acted in accordance with the divine and moral commandment and reached out."

Samaritan's Purse has conducted relief efforts in Israel since the war broke out. Shortly after Israel declared itself in a state of war, Samaritan's Purse deployed a disaster response team. The organization says it has also provided 18,500 food boxes, nearly 4,000 hot meals and more than 18,000 food vouchers to families.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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