Two Israeli security forces guards had their cover blown after their vehicle got stuck in mud in a small German town and they had to be rescued by the local fire brigade.
The incident left Mayor Klaus Langer of Quarnbek, located in northern Germany, with a bill of €1,263.01.
He billed the Israeli embassy in Berlin, which has since agreed to pay the full cost of rescuing the two guards and retrieving their car.
Mayor Langer told The Independent that he sent the bill to the embassy in early March, although the embassy has said it is confused over why the payment was requested so long after the incident.
In December, Israel’s newly-built submarine was set to make its way from the Kiel harbour along the Kiel Canal to the Middle Eastern country. Guards had been sent to secure the area, which the embassy says police were aware of.
All was going well until two of the guards, who were in Quarnbek, managed to get their car stuck in mud in a “forbidden street”, according to the Mayor.
Upon receiving a call from a local lady who was concerned as to why the men were in the area, Mayor Langer asked the police to go down to the scene to resolve the issue.
But retrieving their car from the mud was a job too big for the police alone. Instead, they had to call in the help of the local fire brigade and use a tractor belonging to a local farmer.
Mayor Langer said he had been forced to go public about sending the bill because he had been waiting for the Israeli embassy to get in touch regarding the costs incurred since the incident happened.
“If I do something wrong in a foreign country, I go to the authorities and say ‘I made a mistake and I will pay for it’.”
“Since December I have been waiting for this," he said.
The embassy told The Independent that they would be paying the bill.
In a letter written to Mayor Langer, Avi Nir-Feldklein, a minister at the embassy, apologised for the incident, adding that the guards' presence had been coordinated with the German authorities and abided by the law.
"We [would like to thank the] voluntary firefighters brigade for pulling the vehicle out of the mud. Of course it is your right to send a bill for this service to us. And of course we always pay our bills. However, it would be helpful in the future if you send bills to us in the first place and not to the media."
Mr Nir-Feldklein added that the embassy was confused over the Mayor's intentions because the bill had arrived three months after the incident. He also commented on the fact that local media in Germany had reported the story before the embassy received the bill on 7 March.
"This time flow makes us wonder about your intentions in this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in future directly before you talk to the media," he said.
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