Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

A "Specimen" Banknote - 500 Fils – IDF Headquarters in the West Bank Area, 1967

Opening: $2,000
Sold for: $25,000
Including buyer's premium
A "specimen" banknote - 500 Fils – IDF Headquarters in the West Bank area, 1967. Design: the Shamir brothers.
Obverse: the value of the bill, on decorative backdrop, signed by general Uzi Narkis. Reverse: illustration of the Tower of David.
This banknote is part of a series of "emergency" banknotes, which were printed for the territories occupied during the Six Day War. These bills were eventually left out of circulation.
The decision of printing the banknotes was made by the governor of the Bank of Israel, David Horowitz and the substitute-finance-minister, Ze'ev Sharf, with the intention to avoid the deficiency in local money and to provide temporary economic stability, until the future of the occupied territories shall be decided. The production of the banknotes – Israeli editions of the Egyptian pound, the Jordanian dinar and the Syrian pound – was kept secret. For this purpose the Bank of Israel recruited the governmental printer in Jerusalem as well as some of the best graphic designers - the Shamir brothers and the partners Gad Rothschild and David Lipman (Studio "Roli"). The bills were printed in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The Bank of Israel was not mentioned on the banknotes, and its place took the "IDF headquarters" of each area, as the one issuing the bills. The suretyship was given with signatures of the generals Moshe Goren, Uzi Narkis and David Elazar.
The printing of the banknotes, had started towards the end of 1967. The legal issues of covering the emergency-money were completed during the process of the printing. Decrees by the command's general declared that this banknote will be legal alongside the Jordanian dinar and the Egyptian pound; the security minister was to be in charge of fixing the amounts to be distributed in his name; the person in charge de-facto was a clerk from either the finance ministry or the Bank of Israel.
The predictions of Horowitz and Sharf were eventually not realized. The Israelis quickly found their way to the occupied territories and it was soon clear that there is no need in military banknotes to protect the economy in the area. The banknotes were withdrawn (a decision which managed to surprise the prime-minister Levi Eshkol, who didn't even know of the banknotes in the first place). All banknotes were confiscated (including the ones kept as souvenirs by the graphic-designers and the generals). In 1978 it was decided that the stock of banknotes kept in the Bank if Israel is to be destroyed. The banknotes were all burned, except for a very few number, which were deposited at the museum of the Bank of Israel.
No other banknotes of this type are known, except for those in the museum of the Bank of Israel.
See: "The Secreted Banknotes of Gaza and the West Bank", by Zvi Lavie (Hebrew).
7x14 cm. VF-XF.
Category
Rare and Important Items