Suez Canal, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Container Ship, Dubaı, United Arab Emirates, İnternational Conflict, Shipping Network, President Anwar Sadat, Global Trade

Suez Canal, Egypt

Before the Ever Given: A look at the crises that closed Suez

While its shutdown this week is historic, the Suez Canal is no stranger to disruption.

30/3/2021 5:00:00 AM

While its shutdown this week is historic, the Suez Canal is no stranger to disruption.

Since it opened in 1869, Egypt ’s Suez Canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict . Now, a different sort of crisis has thrust the Suez Canal into the global spotlight. A skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway last week.

Egypt Suez Canal GlanceFILE - In this Nov. 11, 1956 file photo, fuel installations on the Suez Canal burn after an attack by aircraft of the Sea Venom Squadron from HMS Eagle as Britain, France and Israel intervened militarily and occupied the canal zone following Egypt nationalizing the canal. Since it opened in 1869, the canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. Now, a skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway since Tuesday, March 23, 2021 . The obstruction has halted canal traffic, valued at over $9 billion a day. (AP Photo, File)

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25Egypt Suez Canal GlanceFILE - In this June 18, 1956 file photo, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser waves as he moves through Port Said, Egypt, during a ceremony in which Egypt formally took over control of the Suez Canal from Britain. Since it opened in 1869, the canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. Now, a skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway since Tuesday, March 23, 2021 . The obstruction has halted canal traffic, valued at over $9 billion a day. (AP Photo, File)

35Egypt Suez Canal GlanceFILE - In this Nov. 19, 1956 file photo, scuttled ships at the entrance to the Suez Canal, at Port Said, as seen from over Port Fuad, Egypt. Since it opened in 1869, the canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. Now, a skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway since Tuesday, March 23, 2021 . The obstruction has halted canal traffic, valued at over $9 billion a day. (AP Photo, File) headtopics.com

Yahoo News is better in the appKeep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories45Egypt Suez Canal GlanceFILE - In this June 1967 file photo, Israeli soldiers stand at a destroyed bridge looking over the Egyptian bank of the Suez Canal. Since it opened in 1869, the canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. Now, a skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway since Tuesday, March 23, 2021 . The obstruction has halted canal traffic, valued at over $9 billion a day. (AP Photo/Mario Torrisi, File)

55Egypt Suez Canal GlanceFILE - In this June 5, 1975 file photo, thousands throng the docks and quays of Port Said at the northern end of the Suez Canal in Port Said, Egypt, as the first passenger ships let off steam and pontoon ramps are kicked away as they get ready for first passage through the canal in years. Since it opened in 1869, the canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. Now, a skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway since Tuesday, March 23, 2021 . The obstruction has halted canal traffic, valued at over $9 billion a day. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

ISABEL DEBRE28 March 2021, 2:12 pm·4-min readDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Since it opened in 1869, Egypt’s Suez Canal has been a source of national pride and a focus of international conflict. It is one of the world’s great maritime shortcuts, connecting the Red and Mediterranean Seas through a narrow passage that chops thousands of miles off most east-west shipping voyages.

Now, adifferent sort of crisis has thrust the Suez Canal into the global spotlight. A skyscraper-sized container ship called the Ever Given got stuck sideways across the waterway last week. The obstruction has halted canal traffic — valued at over $9 billion a day — disrupting a global shipping network already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of ships waiting to cross the canal have piled up in a colossal traffic jam. With the vessel's bow still firmly lodged in the eastern bank, other shippers are opting to take the long route around the Cape of Good Hope. headtopics.com

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Nearly 19,000 vessels passed through the Suez Canal last year, carrying over 10% of global trade, including 7% of the world’s oil. While its shutdown this week is historic, the canal is no stranger to disruption. Here’s a look at some major incidents that have closed or threatened the bottleneck in the past.

THE “SUEZ CRISIS”In 1956, Egypt’s then-President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal. The seizure, celebrated by Egyptians as a defiant break from European imperialism, prompted Britain, France and Israel to intervene militarily and occupy the canal zone.

As fighting raged, sunken ships sealed off the canal for months. The United States and the Soviet Union, which openly opposed the invasion, ultimately forced the three countries to withdraw. Egypt was able to reopen the canal in March 1957, in what was seen across the region as a victory for pan-Arab nationalism.

THE 1967 MIDEAST WARA decade later, at the outbreak of the 1967 Mideast war, Egypt closed the canal to international shipping as Israeli forces struck again at the canal zone and entrenched in the Sinai Peninsula. This time, the canal was shut for eight years. Accumulating mines, bombshells and sunken vessels, the waterway became a fortified trench in the war. It was only after peace talks with Israel that Nasser's successor, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, reopened the waterway in 1975. headtopics.com

Story continuesDuring the closure, over a dozen cargo ships were stranded midway through the canal in the Great Bitter Lake. The closed canal cost the world $1.7 billion in lost trade and increased shipping costs and Egypt $250 million in lost toll revenues annually, according to a U.N. study.

The shutdown forced Europe-bound vessels to avoid Suez by rounding the southern tip of Africa, encouraging shippers to find economies of scale by developing increasingly large supertankers — a trend that, ironically, led ships to swell to the size of the stranded Ever Given.

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A TARGET FOR MILITANT ATTACKSThe canal divides mainland Egypt from the restive Sinai Peninsula, where the Egyptian military has been fighting a yearslong insurgency led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group. The violence has threatened to spill over and disrupt global trade. In the summer of 2013, a Sinai-based militant group called the Furqan Brigades attacked two vessels in the waterway with rocket-propelled grenades, causing slight damage. Despite repeated vows to target the waterway, Egyptian militants so far have failed to impact maritime traffic there.

OTHER SHIPS HAVE RUN AGROUNDGroundings of vessels previously have closed the narrow waterway, which can be difficult to navigate when there’s poor visibility. The first reported accident occurred in 1937, when high winds and rain squalls caused the U.K.-owned passenger liner Viceroy of India to ram into the bank and halt marine traffic for a day. Over the century, several other freighters have crashed or briefly shut down the waterway for up to three days, including a Greek-owned oil tanker in 1954, a Russian tanker in 2004 and a container ship that broke down in 2018 and triggered a multi-ship collision.

In all cases, however, the groundings were swiftly resolved. Never before has a ship become wedged athwart the width of the canal, like the Ever Given.THE EVER GIVENThe giant 400-meter-long (quarter-mile-long) Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship that hauls cargo between Asia and Europe, got stuck last Tuesday in a single-lane stretch of the canal. The ship's operators insist it crashed into the bank because of strong winds and a sandstorm, but the circumstances of the grounding remain unclear. Egyptian authorities suggested Saturday that human error may have been a factor.

A squadron of tugs and diggers. But without any significant progress, authorities may be forced to offload the vessel's containers — an operation that could take days. Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

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Suez Canal: Egypt’s president declares end to container ship crisis as Ever Given ’starts to move’ Egypt 's President has declared an end to the crisis of the giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal after its owners revealed it had been freed from the bank. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made the announcement on his official social media pages on Monday. Footage posted on social media appears to show the 400 metre-long megaship facing the right direction in the water as tugboats battled to straighten it after the vessel smashed into the bank last week.

Suez Canal says close to clearing backlog after ship dislodgedThe Suez Canal said on Friday it was close to clearing a backlog of shipping that built up when a giant container ship was grounded in the waterway.

Suez Canal Authority says it is close to clearing backlog after ship dislodgedCAIRO: The Suez Canal Authority said on Friday (Apr 2) it was close to clearing a backlog of shipping that built up when a giant container ship ...

Megaship still stuck in Suez canal as new refloating attempt 'likely' on MondaySUEZ, Egypt : Egypt ian authorities decided Sunday (Mar 28) that more tugboats will be needed to free a mammoth container ship blocking the Suez ...

Suez Canal says traffic in channel resumes after stranded ship finally freedCAIRO — The giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was fully floated on Monday (March 29) and traffic in the waterway would resume, the canal authority said in a statement.