or Al Ismailiyah
, city (1986 est. pop. 212,759), capital of Ismailia governorate, NE Egypt. It is the seat of the Suez Canal administration. Extensive irrigation is used for growing fruits and vegetables; livestock is raised. Ismailia was founded in 1863 by Ferdinand de Lesseps
, who used it as his base of operations during the construction of the canal. The city was named after Ismail, a khedive of Egypt. A nearby military base established by the British in World War I is now under Egyptian control. After Israeli forces shelled Ismailia in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, part of the city's civilian population was evacuated. In the 1973 war Israeli ground forces pushed to within the city's outskirts.
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