• Issue: December 1966
  • Designer: M. & G. Shamir
  • Plate no.: 184 - 187
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

In December of 1966 the first nation-wide Stamp day was held in Israel. On this occasion a series of four stamps was issued. They depict postmen of Israel in different periods.

Postal establishments in the modern sense did not exist in Eretz Israel before the second half of the last century. Though at that time the country was part of the Ottoman Empire, the first postal offices in Eretz Israel were established by European Great Powers. Their rather doubtful legal basis was claimed to be the so-called Capitulations - treaties between the Sublime Porte and individual European Powers.

The first post office in Eretz Israel was probably the French post office in Jaffa (1852) with a collection point for letters at the French Consulate in Jerusalem. The first real post office in the Capital was most likely the Austrian one (about 1854). In addition to Jerusalem and Jaffa, there were also Capitulation post offices in Haifa. Attempts to establish branch offices in smaller places were short-lived or, at best, unrecognized. All foreign post offices were closed upon Turkey's entry into the First World War (30/9 - 1/10, 1914).

The network of the Turkish State posts did not reach our country before about 1865. Initially it developed slowly, but - in spite of the war - more rapidly after the closing of the foreign post offices. Finally there were in Eretz Israel, Turkish post offices in 19 towns and villages with branch offices in the main towns, among them one in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, the postmark of which also showed Hebrew characters. The Turkish post-offices were closed with the conquest of the country by General Allenby's army (1917/18).

At the end of World War I, Palestine was in the hands of the British army. With the return of civilian life the existing army post offices were opened to the public, and after the establishment of a civilian administration the post offices too came under civil administration. Parallel with the development of the country the postal system expanded. In 1933 there were 40 post offices or agencies. At the end of the British Mandate, the number already reached 100 (not counting town branches).

The real development of the postal system occurred after the proclamation of the State of Israel (May 1948). New post offices were opened in all parts of the country.

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Stamp Day 1966