Palestine pound

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Palestine pound
  • جنيه فلسطيني (Arabic)
  • לירה ארץ-ישראלית (Hebrew)
1 Palestine Pound 1939 Obverse.jpg
A 1939 one Palestine pound note
Symbol £P or LP
11000 Mil
11000 Prutah (from 1950 in Israel)
Banknotes500 mils, £P1, £P5, £P10, £P50, £P100
Coins1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 mils, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 prutot
Replaced Egyptian pound
(Mandatory Palestine)
Replaced by Jordanian dinar
(Jordan and West Bank)
Egyptian pound
(All-Palestine Protectorate)
Israeli pound
User(s)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Mandatory Palestine (1 Nov 1927 – 15 May 1948)
Flag of the Emirate of Transjordan.svg  Emirate of Transjordan (1 Nov 1927 – 25 May 1946)
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan (25 May 1946 – 30 September 1950)
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel (15 May 1948 – 23 June 1952)
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg All-Palestine (22 September 1948 – April 1951)
Flag of Jordan.svg West Bank (1 December 1948 – 30 September 1950)
Central bank Palestine Currency Board
Printer Thomas De La Rue
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
A 500 mil (PSP
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1/2) note issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Tel Aviv in 1948. Five hundred mils.jpg
A 500 mil (£P12) note issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Tel Aviv in 1948.

The Palestine pound (Arabic : جُنَيْه فِلَسْطَينِيّ, junayh filastini; Hebrew : פוּנְט פַּלֶשְׂתִינָאִי (א״י), romanized: funt palestina'i (eretz-yisra'eli) or Hebrew: לירה (א״י), romanized: lira eretz-yisra'elit; Sign: £P [1] [2] ) was the currency of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1 November 1927 to 14 May 1948, and of the State of Israel between 15 May 1948 and 23 June 1952, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira. The Palestine pound was also the currency of Transjordan until 1949 when it was replaced by the Jordanian dinar, and remained in usage in the West Bank of Jordan until 1950. In the Gaza Strip, the Palestine pound continued to circulate until April 1951, when it was replaced by the Egyptian pound.



Until 1918, Palestine was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and therefore used its currency, the Ottoman lira. During 1917 and 1918, Palestine was occupied by the British army, who set up a military administration. The official currency was the Egyptian pound, which had been first introduced into Egypt in 1834, but several other currencies were legal tender at fixed exchange rates that were vigorously enforced. [3] [4] After the establishment of a civil administration in 1921, the High Commissioner Herbert Samuel ordered that from 22 January 1921 only Egyptian currency and the British gold sovereign would be legal tender. [5]

In 1926, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed a Palestine Currency Board to introduce a local currency. [6] It was based in London and chaired by P. G. Ezechiel, with a Currency Officer resident in Palestine. [6] The board decided that the new currency would be called the Palestine pound, 1:1 with sterling and divided into 1,000 mils. [7] The £P1 gold coin would contain 123.27447 grains of standard gold. [7] The enabling legislation was the Palestine Currency Order, 1927, signed by the King in February 1927. [8] The Palestine pound became legal tender on 1 November 1927. [9] The Egyptian pound (at the fixed rate of £P1 = £E0.975) and the British gold sovereign remained legal tender until 1 March 1928. [8] [10]

The Palestine Currency Order explicitly excluded Transjordan from its application, but the Government of Transjordan decided to adopt the Palestine pound at the same time as Palestine did. [11] [12] The Egyptian pound remained legal tender in Transjordan until 1930. [13]

All the denominations were trilingual in Arabic, English and Hebrew. The Hebrew inscription included after "Palestina" the initials Aleph Yud, for "Eretz Yisrael" (Land of Israel).

It so happened that the new Palestinian currency was released, which was a great ordeal. The Palestinian currency which was coined especially for Palestine, and issued both in banknotes and coins, had the phrase “the land of Israel” written on it in Hebrew. Despite this hint, we accepted it, and the Arabs of Palestine dealt in it in what was almost an acknowledgment that Palestine was the land of Israel.

Wasif Jawhariyyeh, The Storyteller of Jerusalem, page 698

The Currency Board was dissolved in May 1948, with the end of the British Mandate, but the Palestinian pound continued in circulation for transitional periods:[ citation needed ]

Since the mid-1980s, the primary currencies used in the West Bank have been the shekel and the Jordanian dinar. [14] The shekel is used for most transactions, especially retail, while the dinar is used more for savings and durable goods transactions. [15] The US dollar is also sometimes used for savings and for purchasing foreign goods. [15] The dollar is used by the overwhelming majority of transactions overseen by the Palestinian Monetary Authority (Palestine's nascent central bank), which only represent a fraction of all transactions conducted in Palestine or by Palestinians. [16]

The shekel is the main currency in Gaza. [17] [18] Under Egyptian rule (1948–1956), Gaza mainly used the Egyptian pound. [19] [20] When Israel occupied the Gaza Strip during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the military administration made the Israeli lira (the predecessor to the shekel) the only legal currency in Gaza in a 3 December decree, and implemented a favorable exchange rate to remove all Egyptian pounds from circulation. [19] As a result, the lira and then the shekel became the dominant currency in Gaza, a situation that was reinforced in 1967 by the Israeli occupation of Gaza following the Six-Day War. [19] [21]

Under Article IV of the Protocol on Economic Relations, the Palestinians are not allowed to independently introduce a separate Palestinian currency. [22] [23] At the same time, the use of two currencies increases the costs and inconvenience arising from fluctuating exchange rates. [23]


In 1927,[ citation needed ] coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mils. The 1 and 2 mil were struck in bronze, whilst the 5, 10 and 20 mil were holed, cupro-nickel coins, except for during World War II, when they were also minted in bronze. The coin of 10 mils was also called a grush. The 50 and 100 mil coins were struck in .720 silver.

The last coins were issued for circulation in 1946, with all 1947 dated coins being melted down.

Palestine pound Coinage
Issued by the Palestine currency Board
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescriptionDate of first issueDated years of issue
PSE-1m.jpg 1 mil21 mm3.23 g Bronze Plain"Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting.

In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).

Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
olive sprig
19271927, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946
PSE-2m.jpg 2 mils28 mm7.77 g1927, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1946
PSE-5m2.jpg 5 mils20 mm2.91 g Cupro-nickel Value in Arabic, English, and Hebrew 1927, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1946
PSE-5m1.jpg 5 mils20 mm2.9 Bronze 19421942, 1944
PSE-10m1.jpg 10 mils27 mm6.47 g Cupro-nickel 19271927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946
PSE-10m2.jpg 10 mils27 mm6.47 Bronze 19421942, 1943
PSE-20m1.jpg 20 mils30.5 mm11.33 g Cupro-nickel 19271927, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1941
PSE-20m2.jpg 20 mils30.5 mm11.3 Bronze 19421942, 1944
PSE-50m.jpg 50 mils23.6 mm5.83 g720‰ Silver Reeded"Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,
year of minting, olive sprig.

In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).

19271927, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943
PSE-100m.jpg 100 mils29 mm11.66 g
Issued by the State of Israel
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescriptionDate of first issueDated years of issue
Israel 1 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 1 pruta [24] 21 mm1.3 g Aluminum PlainAnchor; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin of Alexander Jannaeus (76-103 BCE).

The denomination "1 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim.25 October 19505709 (1949)
Israel 5 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 5 pruta20 mm3.2 g Bronze Four-stringed lyre; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin from the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135CE).

The denomination "5 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim.28 December 1950
Israel 10 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 10 pruta27 mm6.1gTwo-handled amphora; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin from the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135CE).

The denomination "10 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim.4 January 1950
25 mil coin - the State of Israel's first coin.png 25 mil30 mm3.8 g Aluminum Cluster of grapes, based on coins struck during the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE); "Israel" in Hebrew above and in Arabic below.The denomination "25 Mil" in Hebrew and Arabic; date in Hebrew below; two stylized olive branches around, based on coins struck during the Bar-Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE).6 April 19495708 (1948),

5709 (1949)

Israel 25 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 25 pruta19.5 mm2.8 g Cupro-nickel ReededValue and date in Hebrew within wreath.4 January 19505709 (1949)
Israel 50 Prutah 1949 Obverse & Reverse.gif 50 pruta23.5 mm5.69 gA Branch of Grape Leaves.Value and date within wreath made up of two stylized olive branches that for a circle around perimeter.11 May 1949
Israel 100 Prutah 1949 Obverse & Reverse.gif 100 pruta28.5 mm11.3 gDate palm tree with seven branches and two bunches of dates. Country name is listed in Hebrew and Arabic.Value and date in Hebrew within wreath of stylized olive branches.25 May 1949
Israel 250 Prutah 1950 Obverse & Reverse.gif 250 pruta32.2 mm14.1 gThree palm branches; "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic.

The design is based on a coin minted during the Great Revolt (66 - 70 CE).

The denomination "250 Pruta" and the date in Hebrew; two stylized olive branches around the rim.11 October 1950
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.


On 1 November 1927, banknotes were introduced by the Palestine Currency Board in denominations of 500 mils, £P1, £P5, £P10, £P50 and £P100. Notes were issued with dates as late as 15 August 1945. [25]

Palestine pound Banknotes
Issued by the Palestine currency Board
ImageValueDimensions [26] Main ColourDescriptionDate of first issueQuantity circulated at the end of the Mandate
Palestine Mandate Bills 500mil 1927.png 500 mils127 × 76 mmPurple Rachel's Tomb Citadel and Tower of David Olive sprig1 September 19271,872,811
ljnyh lflsTyny mn lmm.jpg ljnyh-lflsTyny-mn-lkhlf.jpg £P1166 × 89 mmYellowish green Dome of the Rock 9,413,578
khms@jnyt-flsTyny@.jpg £P5191 × 102 mmRedTower of Ramla 3,909,230
Pound 10 1939.jpg £P10Blue2,004,128
khmswn-jnyh-flsTyny.jpg £P50Purple20,577
my'@jnyh-flsTyny.jpg £P100Green1,587
"Palestine" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. In Hebrew; also mentions in the acronym (א״י) for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).
Issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank (State of Israel)
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColourDescriptionDate of
ObverseReverseObverseReverseIssueCeased to be legal tender
Israel 500Mils1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg 500 mils [24] 148 x 72 mmGrey-pinkGuilloches; the denomination and "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited" in Hebrew and English.Guilloches; the denomination and "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited" in Arabic and English.18 August 194823 June 1952
Israel 1 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg £P1100 x 75 mmBlue-green
Israel 5 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg £P5105 x 68 mmBrown
Israel 10 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg £P10150 x 80 mmRed
Israel 50 Palestine Pound 1948 Obverse & Reverse.jpg £P50159 x 84 mmViolet

The £P100 note was equivalent to 40 months’ wages of a skilled worker in Palestine. [27] At the end of 1947, five months before the end of the British Mandate, there were 1,590 £P100 notes in circulation, out of a total circulation of £P40.6 million in notes and £P1.5 million in coins. [28]

See also

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  1. As depicted on a revenue stamp issued under the Mandate.
  2. As depicted on a Barclays cheque
  3. Egyptian Expeditionary Force, The Palestine News, March 7, 1918, p2. Turkish coins but not Turkish notes were legal. In January, a resident of Jerusalem was sentenced to 3 months' hard labour for selling a French Napoleon for 92.5 piastres instead of the regulation 77.15 piastres.
  4. Egyptian Expeditionary Force, A Guide-Book to Central Palestine, August 1918, p106.
  5. Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 36, 1 February 1921, p13.
  6. 1 2 Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 170, 1 September 1926, pp447–449.
  7. 1 2 Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 182, 1 March 1927, pp131–134.
  8. 1 2 Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 193, 16 August 1927, pp590–592.
  9. Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 196, 1 October 1927, p679.
  10. Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 205, 16 February 1928, p94, and No. 206, 1 March 1928, p114.
  11. Howard M. Berlin (2015). The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947. McFarland. p. 22.
  12. Palestine Currency Board, Report for the period ending 1st March 1928
  13. Howard M. Berlin (2015). World Monetay Units: An Historical Dictionary, Country by Country. McFarland. p. 85.
  14. Zacharia, Janine (2010-05-31). "Palestinian officials think about replacing Israeli shekel with Palestine pound". The Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  15. 1 2 Cobham, David (2004-09-15). "Alternative currency arrangements for a new Palestinian state". In David Cobham; Nu'man Kanafani (eds.). The Economics of Palestine: Economic Policy and Institutional Reform for a Viable Palestine State (PDF). London: Routledge. ISBN   9780415327619 . Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  16. Lauria, Joe (2014-08-09). "Getting Money in Gaza: An Interview With Palestine's Central Banker". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  17. "Palestinian Territories > Gaza Strip > Currency". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  18. "استبدال العملات التالفة وإدخال الفكة و15 مليون دولار لغزة". سوا: وكالة انباء فلسطينية مستقدمة. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  19. 1 2 3 Filiu, Jean-Pierre (2014-08-14). Gaza: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN   9780190201913 . Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  20. "حلقات الحصار تشتدّ.. أزمة السيولة النقدية تُطيح باقتصاد غزة". الخليج اونلين. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  21. Abu Amer, Ahmad (2 July 2018). "Israel tightens financial noose on Gaza". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  22. Annex IV - Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of the State of Israel and the P.L.O., representing the Palestinian people. Israel MFA, 29 April 1994
  23. 1 2 Naqib, Fadle M. (October 2002). Economic Aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (PDF) (Report). UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER). p. 13. ISSN   1609-5774. Discussion Paper No. 2002/100. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  24. 1 2 "Bank of Israel - Past Notes & Coins Series - Past Notes & Coin Series". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  25. Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Palestine". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  26. Palestine Gazette, March 1, 1927, p134
  27. Berlin, Howard M (2001). The coins and banknotes of Palestine under the British mandate, 1927-1947. Jefferson: McFarland. p. 71. ISBN   978-0786408795.
  28. Palestine Currency Board, Statement of Coins and Notes in Circulation at the 31st December, 1947. The Palestine Gazette No. 1644, January 29, 1948, p. 72.