Qantarah esh Sharqiya (känˈtärä ĕsh shärkēˈyä) [key], town, NE Egypt, on the east bank of the Suez Canal. It is on the ancient military road between Egypt and Syria. Qantarah esh Sharqiya is the terminus of a railroad to Palestine constructed during World War I, when the British Expeditionary Force in Egypt was based there. Israel captured the town during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and in 1969 evacuated the civilian population. It was returned to Egyptian control in 1974. The town was formerly known as El Kantara or Al Qantarah.