A Short Introduction To The Philately Of Palestine

The Stamps of Palestine 2008


Mahmoud Darwish 2008 / Arab Postal Day 2008 (2011)

UPU: Agreement for Direct Mail Exchange

During 2008 Palestine issued one series of stamps:
  •   Mahmoud Darwish 2008 (29.07.2008)
A further stamp issue was planned for 3.08.2008, but due to Israeli confiscation, the block
  •   Arab Postal Day 2008 (17.03.2011)
could not be officially issued until 2011.

During the 24th UPU Congress, an agreement between Palestine and Israel to allow direct mail exchange between Palestine and Jordan was reached:
  •   UPU: Agreement for Direct Mail Exchange


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Mahmoud Darwish 2008

The commemorative stamps series for the now late Mahmoud Darwish (13.03.1941–9.08.2008) was announced by MTIT on 29.07.2008, with the actual day of issue believed to be in early August 2008. The design shows "2007" and was obviously planned for an earlier date, the issue near to his death was coinicidental. Four values, denominated at 150, 250, 350, and 450 Fils, were printed on 22.05.2008 in sheets of 28 each by "Post Printer of Tunisia" (as stated on the sheet border, the stamps themselves state "Tunisian Post printer", ie. Imprimérie de la Poste Tunisienne) with a print run of 35,980 (ie. 1,285 sheets of each value). Perforation: K 13.

Two sets of official FDCs were issued, both using a non-generic envelope (images and text imprint on the left) with either all four stamps (turned 90°) or two FDCs with two stamps each; all are cancelled by a special first-day postmark stating Palestinian National Authority / The First Day of Issued / Post / Ministry of TIT dated 29.07.2008. Upon private intiative further FDCs do exist: with or without imprinted images (see illustrations below).

Mahmoud Darwish postal stamp released

Published Tuesday 29/07/2008 16:41

Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian ministry of telecommunications and information technology announced on Tueday the issuing of a new postal stamp bearing the image of the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

The stamp is being produced to honor the work of Darwish and in appreciation for the major role he has played in keeping the Palestinian question alive all over the world through his poetry.

Undersecretary of the ministry, Sulaiman Az-Zuhairi, said in a press conference in Ramallah in the central West Bank, that the name of Darwish has always been connected to revolutionary poetry and "poems of the stolen homeland."

Darwish's poetry has received international acclaim and won numerous literary prizes. His work has been translated into at least twenty-two different languages. He is also well-known for his political activism and was involved in the drafting of the Palestinian national independence document announced on 15 January 1988 in Algeria.

The stamp will be printed in Tunisia, and it will be released in four different values; 150 fils, 250 fils, 350 fils and 400 fils.

Source: Maan Agency report (29.07.2008).

External links:
  •   Official website of Mahmoud Darwish
  •   FAQ on Mahmoud Darwish (Institute for Middle East Understanding)

221150f37.3x52.2mmK 1335,980sheets of 28 (7x4)

221 (31K) 222 (31K)
223 (31K) 224 (31K)
221 Sheet 222 Sheet 223 Sheet 224 Sheet
221__FDC1 (17K)
221__FDC3a (17K)
221__FDC3b (17K)
221__FDC2 (24K)
221__FDC4 (24K)
Illustrations of official (left) and private (right) FDCs.

UPU: Agreement for Direct Mail Exchange

During the 24th UPU Congress in Geneva the following declaration was published. Whether this agreement between the PNA and Israel will be implemented and how it will effect actual postal traffic remains to be seen.


Palestinian Authority to exchange mail directly with UPU member countries
Israeli and Palestinian Posts agree on a joint declaration
Geneva (Switzerland), 7 August 2008

The Universal Postal Union yesterday announced that the Israeli and Palestinian postal authorities had been discussing solutions aimed at improving the operations and quality of the Palestinian Authority's postal services, "with the aim of strengthening international postal cooperation".

In a joint declaration read out by UPU Director General Edouard Dayan to the member countries attending the 24th Universal Postal Congress in Geneva, both parties pledged to start facilitating direct exchanges between the Palestinian Authority and the UPU member countries as of now. Mail will transit via Amman, Jordan.

Dayan described this declaration as an "important development" in the UPU International Bureau's efforts to help the Palestinian postal service become "better integrated into the world postal community". He added that the announcement would help to prepare the ground for work to develop and improve the quality of the Palestinian postal service, and welcomed the "spirit of dialogue and total cooperation" shown by both parties.

"The technical and operational solutions that are envisaged will enable the Palestinian postal services to launch direct mail exchanges, and will establish the rights and duties associated with terminal dues and the UPU Quality of Service Fund."

Terminal dues are the compensation countries receive for handling international mail arriving from other countries.

The declaration also stated that the two parties had agreed to work on a bilateral basis, and within the framework of the relevant agreements reached between them, to ensure the "rapid, concrete implementation" of these direct exchanges.

Dayan also called on the international postal community to lend its support to the Palestinian Authority's postal services.

Source: UPU Press Release 7.08.2008.

amman_intoutbound_080913 (24K) amman_intoutbound_080913det (8K)
Returned letter, sent "via Jordan", with transit mark "Amman Int ... Outbound ... 13 SEP 2008"; yet no proof for a direct routing from Jordan.
081008_halhul1_noservice (24K) 081027_beitummar1_noservice (26K)
Two letters sent from Beit Ummar and Halhul direct to Kuwait: both were returned to the sender's address in Austria. A sign that the route via Jordan is not in operation...Images courtesy Martin.

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[Created 22.08.2008, last revised 30.11.2013]
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