Post Office Closings

In the more than 130 years of postal history of the Holy Land, as it also shows again that the Jewish people, in spite of chaos and adversity, found ways to maintain communications. The iron will to carry on has always been, and always will be, an integral part of Jewish heritage and history. The Palestine Mandate Administration requested that the U.N. Commission accept “physical and financial responsibility” for the continuation of mail services, both inland and abroad, on January 31, 1948. When no immediate reply was received, the officials of the Palestine Post Office stated that they had no alternative but to begin suspension of postal services.

In February, the British authorities informed the public, as well as the Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland, that mail service from and to Palestine would be terminated in April. A notice to that effect was published by the UPU on March 5, 1948, notifying all members that the British Mandate Administration would not be responsible for parcels arriving after March 15, and surface mail arriving after April 15, 1948.

According to the Public Relations Officer at the General Post Office in Jerusalem, the suspension of incoming mail was necessitated by the fact that the British authorities did not want to be held responsible for any losses incurred in case of emergency. Air Mail service was to continue for as long as possible. On April 15, 1948, the following order was issued by the Palestine Post Office:

Schedule of closing of Mandatory Post offices

It was generally known that the British Mandate of Palestine would terminate on the 15th May, 1948, but instead of  arranging a gradual take over of the Post Organization of the country by the new Jewish State, the Postmaster General at Jerusalem issued ;a directive on the 13th April, 1948, notifying the suspension of postal services, and the closing of Post Offices at facilities between 15th April and 5th May as listed :

  • Rural Postal Agencies  15th April
  • Rural Post Offices (except Lydda Airport)  30th April
  • Branch Post Offices and Town Postal Agencies
  • in the Urban Areas of Haifa, Jaffa,. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv 30th April
  • Head Post Offices (Haifa,  Jaffa.  Jerusalem and Tel Aviv)  5th May
  • Lydda. Airport Post Office 5th May

The reason given by the Postmaster General for his action was the absence of any communication from the United Nations Commission for Palestine providing for acceptance of responsibility for the continuance of Post Office services.