Milestones in the Postal History of the Holy Land
World War I, 1914-1918
On 28.7.1914, following the assassination of the Austrian
Crown Prince in Sarajevo, Austria declared war on Serbia.
Within a few days, much of Europe was at war. Germany and
Austria aligned themselves against France, Belgium and
Britain in the west, Russia and Serbia in the east, and
Japan in the Far East. The Ottoman Empire joined the war
on the side of the Germans and Austrians on 5.11.1914.
On 30.9.1914, the Ottoman authorities closed all Foreign
Post Offices which had been operating in Palestine under
the capitulation agreements for more than seventy years
similar to other parts of the Ottoman Empire); these
agreements had been a constant irritation to Ottoman
The small Jewish community of less than 90,000
inhabitants found itself disconnected from the Diaspora.
The Jewish settlers who had been accustomed to the
services of the Foreign Post Offices were now forced
to allow the inefficient Turkish Post to handle their
correspondence, and the only postal links available to
them were Germany, Austria, the US (until it joined the
war), and areas within the Ottoman Empire.
”הפוסטה במחנה של הגדוד הארצי ישראלי“, גלויה
צילום: יעקב בן-דוב
The Post Office of the 40th R.F.,” postcard
Photograph: J. Bendow
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