Postal services became more precarious and finally stopped completely on April 25, 1948. The main road to Jerusalem was blocked by Arab mercenaries, convoys of medical personnel for the hospitals in Jerusalem were ambushed and everybody killed under the eyes and with full knowledge of the British authorities. By May 9, 1948, it was possible to get some mail through again, and local stamps, 3 issues, depicting the map of Palestine and overprinted, were used in Jerusalem as late as July 1948, as the first stamps of the new State of Israel did not arrive until the third week of July.
The British Mandate postal service in Tel-Aviv and Haifa ended officially on May 5, 1948.
The People’s administration Council, “Minhelet Ha’am”, decided to adopt an emergency measure to be uniformly observed until the first stamps of the State of Israel were issued. It authorized the use of Jewish National Fund “Keren Kayemet L’Israel”, commonly called “KKL” labels, which were available from the Jewish National Fund office in Palestine. These labels have been used since the beginning of the 20th century for fundraising purposes all over the world. The money raised was used to acquire land in Palestine for settlers and refugees from persecution.
These labels were validated for postal use by overprinting them with a rubber stamps “Doar”, the Hebrew word for Post, to be canceled with an all new Hebrew obliteration. There were two different overprints, one for Haifa and Kiriyat Motzkin with “Doar” in a circle, and a straight line “Doar” for Tel-Aviv and the other post offices. These overprinted, or rather, stamped, KKL labels were placed on sale on May 2, 1948, and remained on sale until May 16, 1948, when the first stamps of the State of Israel, known as “Doar Ivri”, Hebrew Post, were distributed and sold.
As the overprints on the KKL labels were done by students and older people with small rubber stamps, all kinds of varieties exist. The ink used was mostly black in Haifa, and purple and red in Tel-Aviv. The legitimate use of the Interim stamps was to have ended completely on May 23, 1948, but due to the chaotic conditions of the period, which resulted in delays in the supplying of all post offices with the Doar Ivri stamps, occasional much later use can be found. It was also impossible to supply all 80 postal agencies with the new State of Israel obliterates immediately, so that many post offices were advised to use the Minhelet Ha’am cancelers or simple rubber stamps. Consequently, either may appear on a piece of mail from that early period.
There is no definite information available as to why certain KKL labels were chosen for postal use, but common sense would tell us that those available in larger quantities were used. All in all, 80 postal agencies were in operation during the Interim’s Minhelet Ha’am period. Postal rates continued to be applied per previous regulations. When the British authorities closed down or abandoned the smaller post offices and postal agencies on April 15, 1948, the Jewish postal workers remained at their posts. Thus, the Jewish postal systems was effectively functioning in the smaller agencies, while the Mandate postal services were still operating in the large cities from mid-April to May 15, 1948.