Newly Discovered

First Interim Civilian Cover
Palestine to Switzerland


Most readers are aware that the first Palestine stamps were not issued until February 10, 1918 with the issued 1 piastre stamp paying the foreign letter rate.  However, until February 10, 1918, civilian letters sent out of the country were transmitted postage free through one or more of the army post offices  of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF). The time period during which EEF adhesives were not generally available throughout Palestine is known as the First Interim Period.

This topic has been well researched and reported by various authors over the years in various publications (Eddie Leibu – Holy Land Postal History (Volume 7); Michael Sacher – BAPIP Bulletin No.69; Nathan Zankel – Doar Ivri – Cercle Francais Philatelique d’Israel – Revue No. 14 and in numerous articles in The Israel Philatelist).

Examples of civilian mail have appeared in the Alexander Collection, Tel Aviv Stamps auction catalogs, House of Zion auction catalog of the Adlerblum Collection, Kelleher’s auction catalog of the Jericho Collection and in various articles published in the Holy Land Postal History journal and The Israel Philatelist

From Jerusalem to Switzerland postage free.
Delivered between December 21, 1917 – February 4, 1918
Free franking not recognized – charged postage due 50 centimes
Cover censored in Great Britain indicated
by triangular censor mark and censor tape