• Issue: November 2008
  • Designers:
    • NIS 1.60 - Meir Eshel, P.A. Cousin
    • NIS 3.80 - P.A. Cousin
  • Stamps Size: 30 mm x 51.4 mm
  • Plates no.: 737 (1 phosphor bar) 738 (two phosphor bars)
  • Sheet of 9 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

France supported Resolution 181 at the UN general Assembly on November 29, 1947, partitioning the land into two States and ending the British Mandate. This decision was the corner stone leading to the establishment of the State of Israel May, 14 1948. Postal ties between the newly founded State and the rest of the world had been severed since April 1948. In June of 1948 France brought about the renewal of Israel's postal ties with many nations.

The postal ties of 1948 are reminiscent of those that existed some 100 years earlier. On July 10, 1852 the French Postal ship Tancr?de arrived in Jaffa and on that same day the first post office was opened by postal agent named Antonie Louis santelli, who also initiated and founded a branch of the French post in Jerusalem. These were the first and only post offices in the area at that time. In 1906 an additional French Post office was opened in Haifa. These post offices were shut down on October 1, 1914 as per instructions issued by the Ottoman authorities on September 19, 1914.

On June 9, 1948 an Air France DC3 airplane, registration number F.BAXK, landed Haifa, flown by pilot Georges Bernard and two crew members: communication technician Mr. Sortais and mechanic Mr. Boutet. The plane made an interim stop in Bucharest while en route to Israel, thus arriving with mail from both France and Romania. The plane subsequently left Haifa on June 11 at 6:36 a.m., bearing mail to France and other countries with which Israel had re-established postal ties: Bulgaria, Holland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland and Switzerland. It also carried a mail sack bound for New York. After interim stop in Cyprus, Greece Italy and Nice un southern France, the airplane took of the next day towards its final destination, Le Bourget airport in Paris, where it landed o June 12, 1948 at 11:01 a.m. and delivered its mail sacks.

These stamps commemorate the 60th anniversary of that first flight to France and of the State of Israel's independence. That flight symbolizes the beginning of the ties and cooperation that exist between the two countries in many areas. Above all, it represents the close and friendly relation between the two countries and their people.

Rephal Livnat
Member, Philatelic Academy

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60 Years of Friendship between Israel and France