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1948-49 War of Independence improvised post - Haviv Schieber service: 4 MAY 1949 postmarked blank cover, franked 15m using Doar Ivri single; a sort of 'first day cover' of an improvised postal service set up by a serving Israeli Army soldier, Haviv Schieber. The locale was liberated in October 1948 but through to May 1949 it lacked civilian postal services (civilian post was handled by the Army postal service): Schieber hung a post box on the wall of one of the buildings in the city, recruited the owner of the Kafe Kassit cafe to let his establishment function as a sort of post office, and convinced a driver of the "Drom Yehuda" bus company to carry the accumulated letters to TEL AVIV where he would enter them into the local postal system; Schieber acquired 15pr Doar Ivri stamps (for the period domestic letter rate) and sold pre-franked envelopes (at no profit to himself) to those who wanted to post a letter, and stamped these with a 2-line text postmark "Doar Israel - Beer-Sheva | 4.5.1949" (unlisted in Nachtigal). The Haviv private postal service functioned for 3 days, between 4 and 6 May 1949, and transmitted about 100 letters - although none are known except those sent by Schieber himself. Although Shiber's intentions were good, the local authorities felt otherwise and he was arrested by the military police, held for 5 days, tried and fined a symbolic sum. The Israeli postal authority took heed and opened the Beersheva office on 14 June 1949. Polish-born Schieber was an active anti-Communist who became Beersheva's mayor in 1949; became disillusioned with Israel, renounced Judaism & left for the States in 1958; died in poverty.


CR058, HL014, SC37, SC30, SC26, SC15