JERICHO    LOCALS
HANDSTAMPED    OVERPRINTS

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We have a limited number of handstamped overprinted stamps, used covers with handstamped overprints,
plus a large stock of postal history: covers, permits, documents.etc;.
Please email us for details.

palstamps@ziggo.nl


Flag set 125 Mils

Flag set 150 Mils

Flag set 250 Mils

Flag set 300 Mils

Flag set 500 Mils

The first stamps issued by the Palestinian Authority appeared in 1994. Printed in Germany by Bundesdruckerie and distributed by Georg Roll [now sadly defunct] the stamps depicted the Palestinian Flag [now known as "The Flag set"],with a set of five stamps with values of 125, 150, 250, 300, 500 Mils ; various historic sites of Jericho & Jerusalem with values of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 75, 1,000 Mils, and a set of stamps showing the official Eagle emblem with 'Palestine' printed below, and now known as "Officials" with values of 50, 100, 125, 200, 250, 400 Mils.
Mils was the old Palestinian currency unit used from 1918 to 1939 during the British Mandate period.

Original stamp

German printers overprint

Jericho local hand-stamp - black

Jericho local hand-stamp - red

Jericho local hand-stamp - purple

Above; the original 10 Mils value of the "Jericho - Jerusalem" set which became know as "The Sights of Jerusalem" set with overprint and handstamps.
Stamps show a scene from the Hisham Palace in Jericho
Place mouse pointer over images above to enlarge



Jericho local hand-stamp - red - on the set of Officials.
Note 'Palestine' printed beneath the Eagle emblem.


A stamp to commemorate the Gaza - Jericho Peace Agreement was also printed perforate within a miniature sheet with a value in mils of 750 + 250.





First Day Covers were printed and sold in Germany and FDC's of the first 'Flags' issue have a 15th August 1994 Gaza Jericho circular date stamp, and FDC's of the first issue of Sights of Jerusalem set have FDC's with a cancellation dated 1st September 1994.

The stamps with values in Mils first reached the Palestinian Authority Post Offices during October 1994 but for some reason only in 'short' sets. For instance, The 40 Mils was missing from the Sites of Jerusalem set and the 50 Mils from the "Officials" set.
Agreement had been made between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel that designs of postage stamps proposed to be issued by the Palestinian Authority would have to be approved by the Israeli authorities and in the case of these first issues Israel objected to both the use of Mils, this value being the currency of the Palestine Mandate territory, and the use of 'Palestine' on the official stamps. It had been agreed that only the wording 'Palestinian Authority' would be used on stamps. Because of these objections the stamps not already sent to Palestine were overprinted in Germany and the word 'Mils' obliterated and the word 'Fils' printed alongside the obliterations.

Interestingly, whether by accident or deliberate intent, the next set of stamps to be issued showed old Palestine stamps from the British Mandate issues and so had 'Palestine' printed on them. Naturally the Israelis again objected and according to Stanley Gibbons the Israeli Postal authorities returned to the Palestinian Authority any offending envelopes with these stamps affixed. The Palestinians then covered the stamps with a Postage Paid label and sent them back into the postal system.

In order to overcome Israeli objections to the use of the stamps valued in Mils and already delivered to the Palestian Authority in June 1995 a number of the stamps with values in Mils were hand-stamped in the Jericho Post Office and 50 sets of covers were prepared as FDC's with the date 14/ 06/ 1995.
The Jericho postal management used a small circular 5/16th inch [7mm] rubber cachet with word 'Fils' in both Arabic and English which was applied to stamps to obliterate the Mils values.
This rubber stamp was provided by the Palestinian Authority Postal Administration in Gaza, and the handstamp can be found applied in black, red and blue/purple ink.

Shown below is part of one of the two FDC's from the Flags set. The 'Sights of Jerusalem' set has three FDC's and the 'Officials' set has one FDC.

All FDC's have the rectangular 'First Day Local 'Fils' Handstamped Overprint cachet and round Jericho CDS.
Commercial covers can also be found with the handstamped overprint - see below.
Needless to say,these handstamped overprints are scarce and the FDC's and commercially used covers even scarcer. The handstamped overprints are listed in Stanley Gibbons Part 19 [Middle-East] catalogue but the catalogue values shown are hopelessly innacurate and bear no resemblance to market values or prices paid in auctions.
One man alone is responsible - and to be thanked - for collecting the information and recording the history of these unique handstamped overprinted stamps and covers, and for collecting the postmarks of the Palestinian Authority post offices from where these stamps were issued. You can visit his website on the Links Page.


FDC of one of the Flags set [3 FDC's in complete set] showing an unofficial canceller used in Gaza.
Note that the issue date is two months prior to the date on the handstamped cover [see above] Also two different types of envelope and two ink colours were used for the cancellations on this strange unofficial FDC set..


Another of the unofficial Flags FDC's set.


FDC of the controversial 'Old Stamps of Palestine' set as issued by the German agency. Cancellation date 7 .05. 1995
FIRST CANCELLATIONS & CANCELLERS USED
A VERY brief history
The newly fledged Palestinian Authority Posts now had the stamps but not the means of cancelling them! The agreement with Israel was that the new stamps could only be used within the boundaries of the areas governed by the Palestian Authority and that all mail from Gaza would travel through the Erez checkpoint and mail from Jericho would travel via Jerusalem. Any letters bearing Palestinian Authority stamps with values in Mils or showing the word "Palestine' were declared invalid and returned by the Israeli authorities.

Agreement was reached between the Israeli and Palestinian postal authorities that returned letters could have the offending stamps covered with a white sticker with the wording "Palestinian Authority/Postage Paid" in order that the sender did not have to pay postage twice.
This procedure caused considerable delays to the letters and some took up to three months to reach their destinations.




Early covers can be found with pen cancellations but in January 1995 some provisional 'Bridge' type cancellers were obtained from Egypt
and so first day of issue covers appeared - see example below.
These Bridge type cancellers were used in several post offices, each with the post office name in the lower segment of the canceller.





FDC's cancelled 1-1-1995 also had an auxilliary handstamp, shown below.






These Bridge cancellers were used for only two or three months until being replaced by high quality steel cancellers from Germany but in case these cancellers did not arrive franking machines had been prepared. See example of a proof from a Gaza franking machine.


The detailed history of these overprints can be reached from our 'links' page.

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