and on small boat from Port Said to Suez along the embryonic canal, and then, via Government post, overland to Alexandria and Europe. With the 20,000 native labourers of the early years being steadily replaced by machinery and a growing European work-force, however, the mail volume was becoming considerable in fact, and the Canal CompanySuez Canal is a strategic port Second war between Israel and Arabs (Egypt) Egypt's leader, Nasser, nationalised Suez Canal in 1959. Britain and France owned the Suez Canal company. Israel, Britain and France planned to attack Egypt Suez Crisis failed to solve any issues in area - Palestine, disputed territories, Israel's right to use Suez Canal. Suez Canal, sea-level waterway running north-south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt to connect the Mediterranean and Red seas. It separates the African continent from Asia, and it provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands lying around the Indian and western Pacific oceans.France retained a majority. The Suez Canal Company by now had become a virtually British-French enterprise. In 1882, British forces occupied Egypt and the Suez Canal became the main British military and strategic base in the Middle East. The Convention of Constantinople, signed in 1888, mandated the Suez Canal as a neutral zone.