Operation protective edge - A unique challenge for a civilian EMS agency

Eli Jaffe, Refael Strugo, Oren Wacht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


During July through August 2014, Operation Protective Edge, a military conflict between Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza, dramatically affected both populations. Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israeli national Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and a member of the Red Cross, faced a unique challenge during the conflict: to continue providing crucial service to the entire civilian population of Israel, which was under constant missile threat. This challenge included not only providing immediate care for routine EMS calls under missile threat, but also preparing and delivering immediate care to civilians injured in attacks on major cities, as well as small communities, in Israel. This task is a challenge for a civilian EMS agency that normally operates in a non-military environment, yet, in an instant, must enhance its capability to respond to a considerable threat to its population. During Operation Protective Edge, MDA provided care for 842 wounded civilians and utilized a significant amount of its resources. Providing EMS services for a civilian population in a mixed civilian/military scenario is a challenging task on a national level for an EMS system, especially when the threat lasts for weeks. This report describes MDA's preparedness and operations during Operation Protective Edge, and the unique EMS challenges and dilemmas the agency faced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-542
Number of pages4
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 19 Aug 2015


  • Emergency Medical Services
  • civil defense
  • wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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