Photo Credit: Flash 90
Israel Post Office in Jerusalem.

The COVID-19 novel coronavirus has accomplished an act so harsh it has not been seen since the days of September 11, 2001, the attack on America by the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization: the US Postal Service is temporarily suspending its mail delivery.

Yes, there has been suspension of service for a few days here and there during the various hurricanes that strike the eastern seaboard — true. But now we are talking this time about a suspension of service that spans weeks, not days.

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This affects e-commerce sites like Amazon and other major internet meccas that serve to assuage the soul of the American Israeli happily setting forth on their small shopping sprees.

Now the USPS is suspending the international mail for certain destinations (not just Israel, by the way) due to service impacts related to the pandemic — including Israel — under the category of “Suspension Due to Unavailability of Transportation.”

A service alert at the USPS International site page reads:

— Please refrain from mailing items addressed to ISRAEL until further notice.

— These service disruptions affect Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International, First-Class Mail International, First-Class Package International Service, International Priority Airmail, International Surface Air Lift, and M-Bag items.

— Items will be returned with “SERVICE SUSPENDED”.

— Upon request, postage and fees will be refunded.

Mind you, “Unless otherwise noted, service suspensions to a particular country do not affect delivery of military and diplomatic mail.”

Israel Postal Service: Can’t Promise ‘Standards’
On the Israel side of the ocean, the following applies:

The Israel Postal Service advises it will continue to process incoming and outgoing mail, giving priority to premium services such as express mail service and PRIME, and will make every effort to ensure regular distribution of mail.

However, due to government restrictions to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, the postal service can no longer guarantee service delivery standards and is invoking force majeure with respect to such standards.

Additionally, a signature is no longer required for items requiring signature upon delivery, and such items will be left at the door after being scanned and photographed to prove that delivery has been made.

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