Packages with 'Israel' address will no longer be delivered, Palestinian Post Service says
The Palestinian Post Service will stop delivering mail to Palestinian territory addresses marked as being in Israel from the start of 2022, service spokesman Imad Tomeizi told The New Arab on Wednesday.
It comes after Chinese online retail outlet Ali Express said it would stop serving Palestinian customers due to the Palestinian postal service refusing to handle packages with Israel-marked addresses, Israeli media reported.
Some Palestinians mark their address as being in Israel because they fear that writing Palestine could delay their delivery.
Ali Express decided it was not worth the confusion, so made the decision to stop delivering to the Palestinian territories altogether, the reports said.
However, Palestinian Post Service spokesman Imad Tomeizi dismissed those reports as untrue.
"We contacted Ali Express and asked for clarification," Tomeizi told The New Arab. "The company reassured us that it had never announced it would stop serving Palestinians and that they will continue to deliver orders to Palestine-marked addresses."
Tomeizi said the confusion over whether Ali Express would stop delivering to Palestinian customers was due to the Palestinian Post Service requesting Ali Express announce on their website that orders will no longer be delivered to addresses in the Palestinian territory if they mark their addresses as Israel.
"The company published such an announcement, which led to a misinterpretation," he said.
Looks like a small country address problem between the Palestinian authority and shoppers, if they put Palestine as a country will it work? https://t.co/ccJFBWIkkn— Ami Vider (@AmiV2) December 29, 2021
The Palestinian Post Service presented correspondence purportedly from Ali Express to The New Arab, in which the retail company said it "continues to serve customers in Palestine who wish to make purchases through its online marketplace".
In its correspondence, Ali Express said that it had announced on its logistics tracking page that "since the beginning of 2022 packages cannot be delivered from Israel to Palestine", specifying that the announcement was the result of the Palestinian postal service's request.
"This is because you [the Palestinian post service] required us to let customers choose the UPU service via China Post to Palestine Post," the correspondence read. "Unfortunately, this has been misinterpreted," it continued.
Tomeizi stressed: "We do not have the capacity to boycott the Israeli post, as the Israeli occupation controls borders, but we have strong post services that are reliable and fast. However, some Palestinians are afraid to use Palestine post addresses, thinking that it might delay their delivery."
The Palestinian Post Service is the extension of Palestine Post, created in 1840. The service was transferred to the Palestinian administration under the Palestinian Authority in 1995.
For years, the Israeli authorities blocked or delayed packages to the Palestinian territories through Palestinian Post. In 2018, Israel released some 10 tonnes of letters and packages meant for the West Bank, some of which were several years old.