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The Israel Philatelic Service – History Back >>
On Friday 14 May, 1948 the State of Israel declared its independence. On the following Sunday morning, less than 48 hours after the declaration and as enemy planes began attacking, the new State issued its first stamps.
Feverish preparations, which began clandestinely a number of weeks before the declaration of the State, preceded Israel’s entry into the world of philately. In April 1948 the British, who were on the verge of relinquishing their mandate over “Palestine”, discontinued all postal services. The Jewish institutions began preparing to print stamps for the State that was soon to be established.
There were numerous problems: there was virtually no paper for printing stamps; there were no appropriate printing presses or perforating machines; the name of the new country had not yet been finalized – would it be called Judea, the Land of Israel or Israel? It was eventually decided that the stamps would read “Doar Ivri (Hebrew Post)” and a printing machine was located, but it had to be refitted for its new purpose and the paper that was obtained was of varying shades and thicknesses.
Despite all the difficulties, the famous and popular “Doar Ivri” stamps appeared immediately following the declaration of independence and were sold at postal branches throughout the country.
Since 1948 Israel has issued many stamps, among them definitive series, airmail stamps and commemorative stamps. Many of the early stamps have become classics and are in great demand by collectors from around the world.

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