Magen David Adom and Palestine Red Crescent Society Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA) and the Palestine Red Crescent Society have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Geneva which top officials said should help end a decades-old dispute and ease Israel’s entry into the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.. Signing the agreement was Noam Yifrach, Magen David Adom Chairman and Younis Al-Khatib, President of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. It was witnessed by Philippe Cuvillier, member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Standing Commission, President of the ICRC Jakob Kellenberger and Bengt Westerberg, ICRC Vice President. The signing was held under the auspices of Swiss Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
The agreement between Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent amounts to formal mutual recognition by the two groups. Monday’s signing ceremony in Geneva comes a week before a conference of the 192 signatories of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, on December 5-6, 2005, that is widely expected to formally recognize a “Red Crystal” alongside the Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols already in use. This “Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions” is expected to pave the way for Magen David Adom in Israel’s inclusion in the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Daniel R. Allen, Executive Vice President of American Friends of Magen David Adom, commented on today’s event. “The signing of the Magen David Adom – Palestinian Red Crescent Memorandum of Understanding today in Geneva is proof positive that humanitarian concerns can come first, even in the Middle East. Now let’s hope the world is prepared to accept Magen David Adom.”
American Friends of Magen David Adom – ARMDI is the only authorized tax-exempt fundraising organization in the United States supporting the life saving efforts of MDA in Israel – Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross. In the past five years, AFMDA/ARMDI raised over $90 million to purchase medical supplies and ambulances for MDA in Israel. In 2004, American Friends of Magen David Adom-ARMDI provided 110 ambulances to MDA Israel, of which 49 were specially-equipped MICU’s (Mobile Intensive Care Units).
Magen David Adom (MDA) and its team of trained volunteer and professional medical responders provides the entire nation’s pre-hospital emergency medical needs, including medical, disaster, ambulance and blood services. The MDA National Blood Service Center, located in Ramat Gan, provides 100% of the blood requirements of the IDF and 95% of the blood needs of Israeli hospitals and the general population.
To learn more on the history of the International Red Cross’ indefensible bias against the Magen David Adom in Israel, click here.
To learn more on the events leading up to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, click here.