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May 3, 2022 11:35 am

Israel Opens Missile-Proof Underground Blood Bank to Safeguard National Reserves

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avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Blood processing at a Magen David Adom facility. Photo: American Friends of Magen David Adom

Israel has opened the doors to the world’s first underground facility of its kind to protect the country’s national blood reserves from missiles and chemical and biological attacks.

The underground, national emergency blood bank is part of Magen David Adom’s $135 million new Marcus National Blood Services Center, which was inaugurated on Monday night. The opening ceremony was attended by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and other ministers and officials.

Horowitz called the facility a “vision come true which will allow Magen David Adom to continue to save the lives of countless Israelis.”

The underground blood services center is expected to have the capacity to process twice the amount of blood — up to half a million units each year, from the 270,000 units possible today, to meet the needs of Israel’s growing population. Magen David Adom collects 97 percent of the country’s blood donations and distributes all of the blood needed by the IDF.

The six-floor complex, which has advanced technologies for protection and security, includes three stories built underground. The deepest floor houses the blood storage vault, a 3,229-square-foot safe room equipped to protect against the most severe missile threats. The storage vault will store and shield Israel’s strategic inventory of 25,000 blood units in times of war.

“It will allow the blood bank to continue operations even under threat of war and is protected against both missiles and earthquakes,” Magen David Adom said.

The center replaces the current building that was built in the 1980s and is not secured against rockets and other threats.

The complex, named in honor of its main donors Bernie Marcus and his wife Billi Marcus, was constructed in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the National Cyber Security Authority. Other donors include Miriam Adelson and her late husband Sheldon.

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