Magen David Adom in Israel is recognized by the Government of the State of Israel as the sole organization entrusted to carry out in Israel the functions assigned by the Geneva Conventions to national societies of the Red Cross or other volunteer aid societies legally recognized and authorized by their Governments.
The Law bestowing this recognition was enacted on the 12th July, 1950 by the Knesset, Israel's Parliament. Sixteen years later, on the 13th January, 1976, the Knesset passed an amendment to the Law which exempts Magen David Adom from customs duties and other levies on equipment from abroad required for the carrying out of its vital tasks. The amendment is incorporated in the Law as subsection (d) of Section 2. The full text of the Law, as amended, appears hereunder.
1. In this Law -
"the Geneva Conventions" means the international conventions for improving the lot of sick and wounded in the land forces, and the other international conventions intended to ease the suffering caused to man by war operations, signed at Geneva in the years 1864, 1906, 1929 and 1949, to the extent that they bind Israel.
"functions of a national society" means functions assigned by the Geneva Conventions to national societies or the Red Cross or other volunteer aid societies legally recognized and authorized by their Governments;
"the existing organization" means the National Organization of Magen David Adom First Aid Societies in Eretz-Israel.
The Magen David Adom in Israel Society
2. a. There is hereby established a society under the name of:
"Magen David Adom in Israel" (Red Shield of David in Israel) (hereinafter" "the Society").
b. The Society, and only the Society, shall carry out in Israel the functions of a national society.
c. The Society is a corporate body and may enter into contracts, possess and acquire property and be a party in any legal or other proceeding.
d. The Society shall be exempt from all customs duty, purchase-tax and other compulsory payments on the import of instruments, medical equipment and medicaments serving the objects of the Society specified in Section 3, including ambulances, mobile blood units with their equipment and accessories, communication equipment and equipment and material for the Blood Bank, whether purchased by the Society or received by it by way of donation. Exemption under this subsection shall only apply to purchased goods if the Director-General of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry or a person empowered by him in that behalf has certified that goods of this kind are not manufactured in Israel or ar not available in Israel in the quantity and quality required or if an order of the Minister of Labor under Section 16 of the Emergency Labor Services Law, 5727 - 1967, is in force.
e. The Society shall be subject to the supervision of the State Comptroller as provided in Paragraph (e) of Section 7 of the State Comptroller Law, 5709 - 1949.
Objects of the Society
3.The objects of the Society are:
a. to carry out the functions of a national society, to be for this purpose an auxiliary service of the Medical Service of the Defense Army of Israel in time of war and to prepare for this in time of peace;
b. to maintain for the benefit of the inhabitants generally first-aid services and services for provisional hospitalization in times of stress;
c. to maintain for the benefit of the inhabitants generally a storage service of blood, plasma and their by-products;
d. to carry out any additional functions determined by the Statute of the Society.
4. Organs of the Society
a. The Society shall be headed by the President of the Society,
appointed by the President of the State for a period of three years.
A notice of his appointment shall be published in an official publication ("Reshumot").
b. The other organs of the Society are: The National Conference, the Council and the Executive Committee of the Society.
c. The management of the affairs of the Society is entrusted to the Council of the Society, except for matters entrusted by the Statute of the Society to its President or National Conference.
d. The Council of the Society shall elect from among its members an Executive Committee which shall carry out the resolutions of the Council of the Society.
Statute of the Society
5. a. The Council of the Society shall enact the Statute of the Society
(hereinafter: "The Statute") and may from time to time make variations and amendments in it.
b. The Statute shall determine -
(1) the powers of the President of the Society and rules for his replacement when he is temporarily unable to exercise his functions;
(2) the procedure for the election of the delegates to the National Conference, the times for convening it, and its powers;
(3) the composition, mode of constitution, term of office and times of sessions of the Council of the Society, provided that a majority of the members of the Council shall be elected by the National Conference;
(4) the composition, mode of election, term of office and powers of the Executive Committee;
(5) the conditions of membership in the Society, the rights and duties of the different categories
of members, the procedure for the admission of members and the modes of discontinuance of membership;
(6) rules as to the establishment, mode of management and competence of the branches of the Society.
c. In addition to the matters mentioned in subsection (b), the Statute may determine any other matter regulating the activity of the Society.
d. The Statute and any variation or amendment in it require the approval of the Minister of Health and publication in an "Official publication" (Reshumot); they shall come into force on the day of their publication unless it is provided in them that they shall take effect from an earlier or from a later date than the day of publication.
Emblem of the Society
6. The emblem of the Society is a red Shield of David on a white ground.
Use of emblems
7. a. No person shall make any use of the emblem of the Society or
an emblem so similar to it as to be misleading or an emblem containing the words Magen David Adom, whether for the purpose of business or trade or for any other purpose, except by permission of the Society.
b.No person shall make any use of any emblem recognized by the Geneva Conventions as a distinctive emblem of the medical services of the armed forces, unless he is authorized by these Conventions or by permission of the Minister of Health to use it.
c. A person contravening the provisions of this section is liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two months or to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or to both such penalties.
8. a. Pending the establishment of the organs of the Society under
the Statute, there shall be constituted a Provisional Council, which shall have all the powers assigned to the Council of the Society by this Law.
b. The members of the Provisional Council shall be the President of the Society and twenty five members, of whom nine shall be appointed by the Government and the remainder by the existing organization. The President of the Society shall be the chairman of the Provisional Council.
c. The Provisional Council shall itself determine its rules of procedure.
d. The Provisional Council shall hold office until the constitution of the Council of the Society under the Statute, but not longer than for one year from the day on which this Law comes into force.
e. On the day on which the Statute comes into force, all the rights and obligations of the bodies specified in the Schedule* to this Law shall pass to the Society, and those bodies shall cease to exist.
f. In this section -
"rights" of a particular body means any movable or immovable property owned or possessed by that body, any contingent or immediate right and any interest it has in any property, any debts owed to it and any obligations incurred towards it;
"obligations" of a particular body means the debts owed and obligations legally incurred by it.
9. The Geneva Conventions, 1906 and 1929 (Mandated Territories) Order in Council, 1937, is repealed.
10. The Minister of Health is charged with the implementation of this Law.
DAVID BEN-GURION YOSEPH SPRINZAK MOSHE SHAPIRA
President Chairman of the Minister of Health
Of the State
* Not reproduced here
Note: The Amendment was signed by Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister; Victor Shemtov, Minister of Health; and Ephraim Katzir, President of the State.