The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan. Though the jurisdiction of the Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective jurisdiction was limited to the Gaza Strip.
The Prime Minister of the Gaza-seated administration was Ahmed Hilmi Pasha, and the President was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, former chairman of the Arab Higher Committee. The All-Palestine Government is regarded by some as the first attempt to establish an independent Palestinian state. It was under official Egyptian protection, but it had no executive role.
In 1959, the All-Palestine Government was officially merged into the United Arab Republic, coming under formal Egyptian military administration, who appointed Egyptian military administrators in Gaza. Egypt, however, both formally and informally renounced all territorial claims to Palestinian territory (in contrast to the government of Transjordan, which declared its annexation of the Palestinian West Bank).
Ahmad Hilmi Abdelbaqi Pasha and Mohamed Ali Eltaher (also known by his traditional Arab nickname, Aboul-Hassan) are only two significant names when it comes to the history of this short living state.
THE 1948 ALL-PALESTINE GOVERNMENT
When Eltaher’s friend and companion in the long struggle for freedom, Ahmad Hilmi Abdel-Baqi Pasha, was asked by the League of Arab States in 1948 to form an “All-Palestine Government” in Gaza as a last effort to rescue what could be rescued of historic Palestine, Hilmi Pasha issued him Palestinian Passport Nº 1.
He then invited him to join the Cabinet and asked him to choose any Ministry he liked. In 1949, he issued him Palestinian Diplomatic Passport Nº 11.
Eltaher thanked Hilmi Pasha and accepted the passports with pleasure. He believed no one would acknowledge such passports, especially Arab League nations urging a Palestinian Government. Declining any official post preserved his freedom to write as he pleased.
All-Palestine Government passports are extremely rare to find, and you can imagine the diplomatic version is most rare! I’ve seen the standard version a few times but never received one. The red diplomatic type, however, I’ve spotted only twice in 20+ years.
The History of the All-Palestine Government, 1948-59
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
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