After a two-year public struggle, Magen David Adom and the Fire and Rescue Services have persuaded the Defense Ministry to award the Second Lebanon War citation to their workers and volunteers who participated in home front efforts during the war .
This was announced at a ceremony in which the citation was presented Wednesday to the commanders and other leaders of the two organizations.
More than 6,000 MDA staff members and volunteers, 1,624 firemen, pensioners and volunteers will receive the honor, along with 187 Jewish National Fund workers who extinguished fires set by missiles landing in forests.
The event was attended by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman and Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i.
Israel Fire and Rescue Services commander Shimon Romah said that firefighters and MDA workers are "the real home front fighters. If, God forbid, more wars break out, it will be won not by the tanks but by the fire engines and the ambulances."
It will be the first time that these two organizations have been found entitled to wear the pin representing bravery in war.
Until now, only the IDF and Israel Police received it. Those in MDA and the Fire and Rescue Services who were on duty for at least eight days in a row will be eligible.
In January, the Kneset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved an amendment that would entitle all firefighters and MDA workers who participated in the war on the home front to be entitled to the pin.