On Tuesday morning (Yom Hazikaron) just before 9:00 A.M., a collision between two Palestinian vehicles took place in the village of Umm Salamuna near Efrat. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Julian Fridman was on his way to drop off his baby at daycare on Tuesday morning when he came across the accident. Julian slowed down to ask if someone needed medical assistance and saw someone trapped in one of the vehicles. He immediately stopped his car on the side of the road and stepped out of the car while holding his baby in his hands.

The man trapped in the car was a Palestinian in his 60s who was conscious. The EMT reported the situation to United Hatzalah’s Command and Dispatch Center and began bandaging the man’s wounds. In the second car were two Palestinians in their 40s. However, all of the injured seemed in light condition, and more help began arriving, including IDF soldiers, the Israeli Fire and Rescue Department, and the Palestinian Red Crescent, prompting Julian, who was unable to provide assistance effectively with his baby in his hands, to leave the scene.

When United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Kalanit Taub arrived minutes later, the Red Crescent was readying to immobilize the man on a spinal board as fire crews were cutting the car in order to get him out. As a member of the United Hatzalah Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, Kalanit looked around to see if anyone was suffering from emotional shock and needed to be attended to.

At that moment, the daughter of the trapped man arrived at the scene and began to cry hysterically. Kalanit introduced herself to her, but the young Palestinian woman could not understand Hebrew or English. Kalanit asked the crowd that had begun to amass at the scene if someone could act as a translator and a Palestinian man came forward and agreed to help. Kalanit reassured the woman, saying that she was not alone and emphasizing that her father was conscious and likely in light condition. The volunteer also asked the Palestinian woman if there was someone else in the family who needed to be informed, in order to encourage the woman to take positive action, thereby alleviating her feeling of helplessness. The woman progressively calmed down and began to make phone calls.

The translator then turned to Kalanit and expressed his gratitude, saying, “All of you. Soldiers. policemen, firemen, and EMTs. You don’t care what our nationality is and treat us simply because you see someone in need. Thank you.”

The three injured were then transported to Palestinian hospitals for further treatment.

Reflecting after the incident, Kalanit said: “It was very moving for me, especially because it happened on Yom HaZikaron, which is a day that is solemn but also tense. It really highlighted the fact that we all live together and if someone is in need, we will help them, no matter what.”

Julian also shared his thoughts on the incident and said, “When Kalanit wrote in our local Whatsapp group what the man had told her, I was very moved. It’s obvious to us that this is what we do as Israelis and United Hatzalah volunteers, but it was nice to hear a Palestinian saying it.”

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