Israel’s Magen David Adom offers to collect blood for Gazans

Magen David Adom mobile blood donor units. Credit: David Shay via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency services organization on July 15 offered to collect blood that would be sent to Gaza via the Palestinian Authority (PA).

MDA's offer was presented to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which often acts as a conduit during times of crisis. In this instance, however, the PA informed the ICRC "that it has all the blood it needs to assist Palestinians in Gaza and no additional support is needed at this time," a spokesman for American Friends of Magen David Adom, MDA's U.S.-based fundraising affiliate, told JNS.org

The spokesman clarified that MDA "would not be giving up its own blood reserves for Gazans, rather it would help collect new donations."

"MDA acknowledges the possibility that Israelis wouldn't be warm to the idea of giving up part of their national blood reserves to benefit Gaza, but as a humanitarian and apolitical organization, MDA is abiding by its mission of, at least, offering to help save lives. Thus, the offer to collect new donations," said the spokesman.

MDA Director Eli Bin described Israel’s attempt to collect blood for Palestinians as "a humanitarian gesture." 

"I believe in it—this brings us respect as human beings," he told Israel Hayom.

***Clarification: This news brief, which initially carried the headline "Palestinians refuse Israeli humanitarian aid" on July 15, was updated on July 16. In response to the initial report, an American Friends of Magen David Adom spokesman said regarding Magen David Adom's offer to collect blood for Gazans, "When presented with MDA's offer by the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), the PA did not say 'no' or reject it outright... Rather, the PA told the ICRC that it has all the blood it needs to assist Palestinians in Gaza and no additional support is needed at this time (shipments travel from the West Bank to Gaza through humanitarian corridors in Israel)."

Posted on July 15, 2014 .