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MDA Stations in Yehuda and Shomron Will Not Close [for Now]

mdaIt was a stormy session in the Knesset Health committee on the topic of the scheduled closure of Magen David Adom (MDA) stations located in communities throughout Yehuda and Shomron (Yosh).

While MDA is not planning to shut all of the stations, leaders of area communities explain the distances between stations is critical and closing some of them down is likely to result in loss of life down the road. Shomron Regional Council leader Gershon Mesika told participants in the session “The time has come to view the residents of Yehuda and Shomron as regular citizens, not second class citizens as has been the case to date”.

The session was held on Wednesday morning 27 Sivan 5774. Among those in attendance were Mesika, MK (Likud) Chaim Katz, MK (Bayit Yehudi) Moti Yogev who serves as the chairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on Yosh Affairs, MK (Shas) Yaakov Margi, Magen David Adom Chief Mr. Eli Bin, and representatives of Yosh councils along with representatives of the Ministries of Health and Finance.

Also present was Mr. Avigdor Shatz, who serves as the security officer for the Binyamin Regional Council, Yosh Security Officer Shlomo Vaknin and Shomron Regional Council Security Officer Yeshayahu Ben-Pinchas. Some residents of Shaked and Shavei Shomron were also permitted to attend since their station is among those slated for closure.

Various security officials and community leaders spoke, warning the closure of stations will lead to a loss of life and significant delays in the EMS response in those areas.

Katz questioned by the monetary issues are always raised when it comes to Yosh and why MDA does not enjoy the same state funding in Yosh that it does inside the Green Line. Katz called on Chief Bin to accept the suggestion of Deputy Shomron Regional Council leader Yossi Dagan, to remove the communities from the fiscal battle with the government. Katz suggested that the pertinent government agencies work it out to the exclusion of the threats of closing response stations in various areas.

Bin agreed to permit the stations to continue operating for the time being pending future meetings that will have to address critical funding issues to keep the stations operational.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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