Lot #: 144230

Asking Price: $599.00

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Postal history of the aftermath of Feb. 1970 Swissair 330 "Coronado" terror bombing: 3 April 1970 postmarked airletter cover sent from SHEFFIELD Britain to guests at Dan Hotel in TEL AVIV; subsequently tied by 2-line Hebrew instructional marking handstamp "This postal item was delayed due to a service problem" (Kibble type III) + affixed with a stapled mimeographed post office memorandum from the Manager of the postal service in Jerusalem dated 2 Aug. 1970, reading "Dear Citizen, this postal item which was sent from abroad in April 1970 reached the Israeli postal service only now and has been assigned to mail distribution without waiting. We apologize for the delay which occured beyond our area of control." Kibble assigned the handstamp to the TEL AVIV head post office and from research by this cataloguer the notice itself was likely stocked in Tel Aviv and stapled there to the cover, which is still sealed.

This is a very rare documentary instance of mail to Israel which was affected by the logistical turmoil resulting from the 21 Feb. 1970 terrorist bombing by a Palestinian organization of a Swissair flight due to transit Israel on the way to Hong Kong, and subsequent fears of letter bombs in the worldwide mail systems. The affected plane had carried mail which was damaged in the fatal explosion and in subsequent weeks and months many countries either suspended postal services to Israel or held such mail in isolation for a number or days before dispatching it, or limited the method of its transport from air to sea - per Kibble especially mail sent or routed to Israel through the UK, Italy, and the USA (indeed in the US the matter became a scandal when it transpired that the US Postal Service was knowingly charging air mail rates on mail it was going to send by sea to Israel).

Kibble observes the type III handstamp on mail postmarked in April 1970 & based on other mail either with this handstamp and/or the memorandum this cataloguer believes these markings were used on a specific consignment of mail postmarked in Britain in April, delayed there and then likely sent by sea.