After Hamas Destroyed Ambulances, Killed First Responders, Samaritan's Purse Bestows Gift of New Vehicles


JERUSALEM, Israel – October 7th, 2023, marked the worst day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust with the murder, kidnapping and sexual torture of more than 1,400 Israelis and foreign workers.

Since that day, the support of Christians has brought comfort and courage to the people of Israel.

Recently, one of the world’s most famous Christians, Franklin Graham, came to provide a gift of much-needed ambulances.

On the day when Hamas rampaged through southern Israeli communities, the terror group deliberately targeted ambulances, so the vehicles could not be used to save lives. In all, Hamas destroyed 14 ambulances.

Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, was spurred to action when he heard the reports.

“Without even thinking, I say you call them and you tell them right now that we will replace every ambulance they lost.” He added, “I felt that these ambulances needed to be replaced right now – immediately.

Graham came to Israel to donate those 14 ambulances to Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance service.

“When they lost all these ambulances – 14 – there were going to be huge gaps in service. And I thought, we just need to replace them, because it takes time for them to raise money and to have things built. So, we just decided, we’ll take the money equation out of it, we’ll just buy them,.” Graham recalled, and added, “It’s a great organization and they touched the lives of the entire nation of Israel.”

The son of Billy Graham came with a message to Israel, as well.

“God loves Israel. These are His people,” he declared. “God chose Israel out of all the nations of the earth. I don’t know why, but He did. And so, as a Christian, I love the Jewish people. I want to help the Jewish people. And I want the Jewish people to know that God loves them.”

Composer, singer and psalmist Michael W. Smith joined Graham in Israel as the war in Gaza raged on.

“We’ve got to stand with Israel. We just have to stand with them,” Smith insisted. “And it’s shocking what some people are saying around the world about what happened on October 7th, and people turning their back on this nation. So, lot to pray about.”

Each one of the donated ambulances are named after one of the first responders of Magen David Adom who died in the line of duty on October 7th.

Graham met and prayed with each one of the families whose loved ones gave their lives to save others.

“And Father, we don’t understand why dark days come in life, why there’s tragedies like this in life,” Graham prayed. “We don’t understand, but we do know that you love us and care for us. So, father, we pray for them (the families); strengthen them, and we pray this in Your name. Amen.”

Lior, the sister of Amit, a young paramedic who was killed, was grateful. “It’s an enormous tribute. I don’t think there is enough words to express our gratitude. I’m speaking on behalf of all of my family,” she said.

The first responders ran to the battle on October 7th.

“When they called him, he ran. Immediately. He didn’t think about nothing. Just to help someone, to save another life.  Unfortunately, we all know how it end(ed).”

Catharine Reed from the American Friends of Magen David Adom stated, “It’s extraordinary. This is an opportunity for us to work with the Christian community to really come together to support Israel at its greatest time of need. This gift from Samaritan’s Purse is incredible, 14 ambulances.”

Reed believes the gift sends a profound message to Israelis when they’re surrounded by enemies and fighting for their survival.

“It’s such a sign of support. They’re watching what’s happening in Europe and around the world and the rise of the support for the Palestinians and particularly for Hamas. And to see Americans come here and support them and really declare their love of Israel and their care means the world to them,” she said.

In addition to the 14 ambulances, Samaritan’s Purse is equipping 7 more armored ambulances in the near future.

Graham explained, “Israel is surrounded by enemies that want to kill you, and you have to be ready.”

“I hope you will never need it,” he continued, “but if you do, I hope these will be used to save lives.”

Samaritan’s Purse also donated one thousand emergency medical kits.

Dr. Hadar Millohraz from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan explained what these kits mean.  

“That’s the difference between life and death. Period. In case of, again, a multi-casualty trauma event, we are well equipped now,” Millohraz explained. “Doctors, paramedics who live in different cities and towns and kibbutz all around the country will have this equipment and they can save lives.”

In addition to the 14 ambulances, Samaritan’s Purse is equipping 7 more armored ambulances in the near future. 

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