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Canal crisis escalates

On October 31, 1956, Britain and France bomb Egypt in retaliation for the barring of their ships from the Suez Canal. The attack came two days after Israel invaded Egypt, seizing the Gaza Strip and driving through the Sinai to the canal. After joining Israel in the hostilities, Britain and France deployed troops to the Canal Zone and demanded the immediate evacuation of Egyptian forces. The international community condemned the military action, and Britain and France agreed to withdraw as a United Nations emergency force was sent to the area in December. In 1957, Israeli and U.N. troops departed, and the Suez Canal passed back into Egyptian hands.