IDF Supreme Values: Human Life and Dignity

All human lives are worth saving – so the IDF teaches its soldiers. Israeli and Palestinian, Jew and non-Jew, soldier and civilian, in Israel and across the world. It doesn’t matter. When there is a person in need, the IDF will be there. Whether they are needed to provide emergency medical care, perform a daring rescue operation or evacuate survivors from under the rubble of a collapsed building – our soldiers will drop everything in order to save a life.

Why? The IDF’s code of ethics holds protecting human life and dignity as a supreme value. In the words of Sgt. Idan Ducach, who donated his bone marrow to save a young boy’s life, “if you save one life, its as if you saved an entire world.”

Read on to discover the true meaning of the Israeli Army’s values.

Distance is no obstacle

The Israeli Army’s Home Front Command is constantly preparing for scenarios in which it will be called upon to rescue Israeli citizens caught in disaster zones – whether they are natural or the result of enemy rocket fire.

IDF search and rescue soldier works through the rubble

IDF search and rescue soldier works through the rubble.

But the IDF does not stop at Israelis when it comes to rescue missions. Search and rescue forces and expert medical troops have been sent by the IDF on humanitarian missions following natural disasters in the four corners of the globe. Emergency teams were sent to Haiti, Turkey, India, Mexico, Ghana and Japan among others.

In the past two decades of foreign aid missions, Israeli medical personnel have saved more hundreds of people from certain death, provided medical care to thousands of injured patients and delivered more than 47 babies in field hospitals. All Israeli delegations partnered with local and foreign medical teams in their efforts to save lives.

For the IDF, every human life is worth saving

Every year, teams from the IDF Medical Corps provide vital treatment to many thousands of Palestinians in need. In June 2013, a young Palestinian man was hit by a car near Nablus. IDF medical officers arrived on the scene to help.

“Whenever we are called to an accident, we don’t consider whether it was an Israeli or Palestinian man who was injured. We never discriminate between the two,” said IDF paramedic 2nd Lt. Shir Schlosser. “When you’re there, you only see the injured person; you don’t pay attention to what’s around you.”

IDF and Palestinian medics work together to save injured man.

IDF and Palestinian medics work together to save injured man.

Earlier this year, IDF medical workers managed to save the life of a week-old Gazan infant born with a congenital heart defect. The team provided emergency care, stabilizing the infant’s condition and transporting him into Israel for further care. The incident was hardly unique.

Last year alone IDF medical teams provided emergency care to 1,500 Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

“The importance of coordination in the medical field trumps all other factors.” Colonel Dr. Albukerk, Chief Medical Officer for the IDF Central Command

Defending the innocent, no matter the cost

In time of war, Israel places the highest value on protecting civilian lives – those of its own and the enemy’s.

The IDF’s Air Defense Command operates an advanced multi-tier missile defense system around round the clock to keep the skies above the citizens of Israel free from the threat of enemy rocket fire.

Iron Dome Battery intercepts rocket

Archive photo: Iron Dome Battery intercepts rocket

Members of the IDF are trained to do everything in their power to protect civilian lives during combat, even when it means aborting vital missions.

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