Milestones in the Postal History of the Holy Land
The British Mandate
Following the British conquest of Palestine and its
immediate vicinity, the British established a military
administration known as the Occupied Enemy Territory
Administration (O.E.T.A.). One of the first tasks of the
British Military Administration was to supply postal
services to the civilian population. It was decided that
the British Army Post Offices would provide the service.
The post office in Jerusalem was opened on 16.12.1917,
one week after the surrender of the city. Since no stamps
were available, the civilian letters were posted free of
charge, similar to army mail; this privilege was withdrawn
on 10.2.1918 with the arrival of the first British
Mandatory stamps. During the next few months, the stamps
were only supplied to three British Military Post Offices:
SZ-44 — Jerusalem, SZ-45 — Jaffa and GM-1 — at Beer Salem
near Ramleh.
Pre paid” mail was brought to these offices, stamps were
affixed and cancelled and the letters were sent onward.
With the gradual distribution of postage stamps to all
military post offices, this provisional “pre-payment”
arrangement was abandoned in July 1918.
Britain was awarded the Mandate for Palestine by the
League of Nations at the San Remo Conference in 1920.
”נתיבי אוויר ארץ-ישראל בע“מ
Palestine Airways Limited”
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