The establishment of the Palestinian Authority post

Dr. Josef Wallach [ Hebrew Website ]

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The struggle against Israel’s Postal authorities


Discussions held during the months of April and May 1994 between representatives of Israel and PLO yielded and agreement on the transfer of power of provision postal services to the Pal. Auth. In this agreement was formulated , inter alia , a number of clauses relating to the issue of postage stamps . It was determined that the Pal. Auth. may issue stamps and postmarks subject of the following provisions :

( see the original document ) [Link 1]

1. Stamps will carry the term " Palestine Authority”, denomination, and subject
2. Denomination will be in agreed valid currency, in the Gaza Strip and Jericho . In addition , it was agreed that these stamps will be used only for mail within the Pal Auth. area. Mail for out the country , Israel or other countries ,will be forwarded through Israel and carry Israeli stamps .

Printed ,Pal. Auth stamps contrary to the agreement

Already from the begining friction arose between the parties , regarding the way to implement the agreement . Stamps which were ordered by Pal. Auth. in Germany were designed partially against the provisions of the agreement . Part of the stamps carried the word " Palestine” instead of " Pal. Auth.” .In all stamps currency was given in MILLS, a non existing currency , reminiscent of the pre 1948 British Mandate currency , Its purpose was to create an "Image” as if the Pal. Auth. continues the rule of the(pre 1948) Palestine Mandate period .

Israel protested against the violation of the agreement , and refused to approve the use of these stamps

Attempts to formulate an intermediate solution.

On 13.Dec.94 , prior to the 1.Jan.1995 date which was planned to open the Pal. Auth. Offices , a meeting was held between representatives of both sides

( see the original document ) [Link 2]
The Palestinians asked to approve the use of stamps printed , despite the irregularities ,” which will be corrected in the next edition ". Israel Director of operation insisted that the stamps can not be confirmed as they are not compatible with the Cairo agreement . The Palestinians had been offered two intermediate solutions as an alternative to the unaccepted stamps :
1. Re-use of Israeli stamps which will be sold to the Pal. Auth. below their face value .
2. Use of postage franking machines which will be supplied by Israel and carry Pal. Auth. cliche The Palestinians rejected the first proposal but welcomed the second one , and asked for immediate supply of ten such machines . A letter sent by Israel post on 24.1.1995 To the director general of P.A. post, informs , readiness to provide 15 postage franking machines without charge

( see the original document ) [Link 3]
The machines were delivered soon after , to the P. A. post

( see the original document ) [Link 4]

Despite this arrangement the franking machines did not enter in to use . The Promise of Prime Minister Y. Rabin to Y. Arafat , allowing him to overprint the problematic " Mills” stamps with an overprint of the "Fils” currency , solved the problem . The Palestinians waited to the "FIls” overprinted stamps series , to arrive from the printer in Germany - and they relinquished the use of the Franking machines altogether .
( see the original document ) [Link 5]

Adapting the P.A. stamps to the sense of the agreement

Further to the promise of Y. Rabin to validate the problematic stamps with addition of overprint ( Fills instead of Mills) The P.A. ordered the new overprinted series of stamps in Germany which were issued on the 10.Apr.1995

As a safety measure , in case the revised stamps will not arrive in time , P.A. post prepared a tiny rubber cachet with the word "Fils” The intention was to apply this cachet manually by hand on the word "Mils” Eventually the overprinted "FILS” stamps from Germany were done and arrived in time . Thus there was NO need to use the "Fils” rubber cachet .. The postmaster of Jericho who received the Fils cachet . Applied the "Fils” cachet on some series of the Mils stamps as gesture of good will to collectors . They were accepted as proper postage by both sides . Some of these stamps were posted in various West Bank and Gaza Strip post offices ..

Mail delivery outside the P.A. territories

The overprinted Fils stamps solved the problem of the currency discrepancy ( Fils instead the Mills) , but did not answer the question how to send letters outside the P.A. Territory ? Original agreement stated that such mailings must be franked with Israeli stamps and routed via Israel . In the early months of the P.A. postal activity Israel overlooked violation of the agreement and the letters carying the P.A. stamps were sent to Israel and foreign countries without being returned . . In July however , following guidance from political leadership , it was decided to increase supervision and to stand firm on the fulfilment of the agreement . . On 11.July 1995 postal Authority issued notice to the public refreshing the agreement and instructing to treat letters franked with P.A. stamps as letters without postage .
( See OriginaL Document ) [Link 7]
Israeli officials were instructed to return them with a "return to sender-- please apply postage stamps " cachet (
( See OriginaL Document ) [Link 8]
(photo) " return to sender - apply postage stamps " cachet , on letter franked with P.A stamps .

Postal agreement with Israel

As part of the Oslo -B- agreement , the area submitted to the Pal. Auth. was expanded and included all Arab localities in the West Bank . In addition an agreement was signed with Israel and set ways of accounting for the transmission of post through Israel
( See OriginaL Document ) [Link 9]
( see meeting summary - guidelines to director of operations ) In addition , it was agreed that letters can be posted out of the P.A territory carrying Pal. Auth . stamps . I was emphasized that the stamps should match the Cairo agreement clauses .

Hiding the invalid stamps.

With the implementation of the Oslo -B- agreement on 8.Nov.1995 , and as a result of being able to send letters carrying Pal. Auth. stamps outside the area , postal clerks became aware to avoid letters with the problematic stamps . Thus some letters were returned to me with the written notice :

Hello Dr. Wallach These letters are affixed with "Mills” currency stamps . Thus , the Israeli sorting center returns them . Thanks "Halavi” (-) In other cases P.A. Officials preferred to solve the problem by covering or concealing the "Invalid” stamps with white stickers stamped by : " Palestine Authority - postage paid " cachet . ( see details in link ) Another method of concealing the problematic stamps was hiding them with a 2nd layer of valid stamps or " stamp over stamp " . . ( fig. )

( See Details: ) [Link 11]

( See Details: ) [Link 12]

notices 130/95 and 133/95 ) The Pal. Auth.. pledged not to sell from now on the problematic " invalid” stamps at their post counters .

Applying Protest cachet in the year 2001

At the end of the year 2000 , unrest and riots activities started , which were called :
“ the 2nd Intifada “ . Israel responded by imposing certain restrictions on the Pal Auth. postal activity .
The Palestinian reacted by stamping a special rectangular cachet on
postal items which were delayed by the Israeli postal Authority :

The cachet reads : “ Ministry of posts - postal administration -
We apologize for not being able to forward this mail to Arab countries ,
due to the Occupation Authorities refusal to allow it “

Additional cover on which the cachet was applied

Additional examples
Posted in Israel, to Arab states, with return address in Palestine Authority

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