Magen David Adom defended itself Tuesday against accusations by settlers that it had politicized medical service by removing its classic logo of the Red Star of David from ambulances servicing Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.
The Council of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip made this charge after the logo on the ambulance servicing the Kiryat Arba settlement was switched to the outline of a white six-pointed star in a red circle. Inside the star is the international medical symbol.
Council head Dani Dayan charged that MDA had caved to a demand by the International Committee of the Red Cross in a 2005 agreement not to use the Red Star logo in regions beyond the pre-1967 border.
“It is quite clear that the reason is political,” said Dayan.
He added that MDA is saving the Palestinians a bid for unilateral statehood at the United Nations in September, by already taking a step now, that recognizes their sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.
He has demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu act to absolve the agreement with the ICRC.
MDA spokesman Zaki Heller rejected Dayan’s claims.
He said that in order to join the ICRC Israel had agreed in 2005 not to use its classic logo when operating outside of Israel. Instead, MDA agreed to place the star inside a red diamond.
But, Heller said, MDA continues to use the classic Red Star logo on its ambulances housed in 12 places across the West Bank.
MDA has no intention of changing this policy, he said.
What did occur, in a nod to the ICRC, is that MDA decided not to place
its classic Red Star of David logo on ambulances that were owned by
individual communities and only jointly operated with MDA, Heller said.
To ensure that this was not viewed as a political statement regarding
Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, said Heller, MDA decided to
changes the logos on all such ambulances across the country.
From here on in, he said, only ambulances fully owned and operated by MDA will carry its classic Red Star logo.
The ICRC refused to comment on the matter.
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