Israeli Medical Volunteers Fear Worst Is Yet to Come, Make Plans to 'Treat Hundreds of Thousands'

JERUSALEM, Israel—One of Israel’s largest medical volunteer groups is preparing for the escalating war, gathering humanitarian supplies for people hurt by the Israel-Hamas War.

United Hatzalah volunteers first responded when Hamas terrorists struck Gaza border communities on October 7th. Now the group must get ready for a potentially long-term war.

Eli Beer says October 7th will be remembered as a black Saturday for his family who are also Holocaust survivors.

“I saw pictures of my family members who were murdered by the Nazis. It was all black and white. On October 7th, I saw it in color. We had a mini-Holocaust,” Beer told CBN News from his Jerusalem office. “I saw children chopped up to pieces. We saw little kids put into ovens and they turned on the ovens to the maximum heat to burn them.”

Within minutes of the Hamas surprise attack, phones at the United Hatzalah command center lit up. 

Avi Abrishami was manning the phones that day.

“It took a while for me to really realize what was going on,” Abrishami recounted. “I feel like I was working kind of like on automatic, like a robot.”

The digital screens at the center were blinking with thousands of emergency calls coming in at a feverish pace.

“Never in my life did I see anything like this,” said Beer. “It looked like a cyber-attack.”

Eli Beer co-founded United Hatzalah, an emergency response organization that has 7,000 volunteer doctors, nurses, medics, and paramedics, who rely on GPS technology and ambucycles to get to people in time of medical emergencies.

On that Saturday morning, 1,700 United Hatzalah volunteers answered the call. 

“They were under fire. They had shooting above their heads. They had missiles flying everywhere,” Beer remembered.

Two volunteers lost their lives and Hamas captured two others. 

Beer told CBN News that he never imagined the terror group could pull off such a complex terror operation.

“Hamas are stupid idiots, they are ISIS, they are not smart people, they just love chopping off heads, that’s what they love doing,” Beer said. “But this was all Iran, behind this whole operation of Hamas, so they came in much more sophisticated that we ever imagined.”

United Hatzalah has about 1,000 so-called ambucycles, about 400 electric bikes, and 60 regular ambulances. Each ambucycle is outfitted with a major medic bag, a defibrillator, and a bulletproof vest. 

But on October 7th, United Hatzalah staff quickly realized that they couldn’t send their volunteers out on the ambucycles because they would be vulnerable to attacks.

Now they are fundraising to get more bullet-proof ambulances.

Twenty days after the horrific events of October 7th, Beer is preparing for an Israeli military operation that he believes could last at least a year.

“This thing might come from the north into Israel, south of course, and inside Israel, we have a lot of enemies here,” Beer said. “I want to get more bullet-proof ambulances, I want to get oxygen tanks, defibrillators, monitors, medicines, so we can buy everything and put it in stocks so we can operate and treat hundreds of thousands of people.”

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