Firefighting aid sent to Palestine from Dundee has finally been released by Israeli authorities, after a months-long paperwork battle.
The donation, which left Dundee in September, had been held up upon its arrival in Israel, despite severe forest fires threatening major cities in the area.
Dundee man Jim Malone, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Palestinian Support Coordinator, spent a week in the territory in November as part of a final attempt to negotiate its safe release from the Israel-controlled docks.
According to Jim, there was no apparent cause for the delay.
He said: “They’ve given no reason really, other than they can. It’s very frustrating.
“The equipment was sent through an accredited shipping company from Nablus.
“Last time we did this it was a very similar situation. Officials from Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, take ownership of the items.
“They take time to go through everything to see if there is anything that can be used for the military. They do this to everyone, even governments, and even America, who they are allied to.
“The fact this was humanitarian aid with firefighting kit and medical kits, you would think they might have been quicker.”
Jim returned from his trip unsuccessful, but continued to call for the release of the equipment from home.
After months of work it was confirmed late this week the kit had been moved to Nablus, Dundee’s twin city, situated in Palestine.
It will shortly be distributed to West Bank fire crews.