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US tech giant Intel halts expansion plan for $25 billion Israel chip plant

Intel did not give any specific reason for the decision and made no link to the ongoing war in Gaza, in which over 37,000 Palestinians have been killed

Intel Chip Plant in Israel

Under construction Intel Chip Plant located in s located in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel. (Photo: Intel)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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US multinational corporation Intel has decided to put a pause on the expansion plans for a chip plant in Israel that would have amounted to an additional $15 billion dollars investment, Israeli financial news website Calcalist reported on Monday.

The company did not provide any specific reason for the decision amid rising speculations about whether it was linked to the ongoing war in Gaza.

“Israel continues to be one of our key global manufacturing and R&D sites and we remain fully committed to the region,” the company said in a statement.

In December, the tech giant announced that it would up its investment in the chip manufacturing plant, which is located in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel. The plant is currently under construction and an additional $15 billion dollar investment would have meant increasing the final cost to $25 billion.

This would have resulted in Intel securing a $3.2 billion grant from the Israeli government. The facility is expected to get operational by 2028. 

As the deal was locked, Israeli Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich had lauded the investment, noting that it had come at a time when the country was “facing a war”.

“Such an investment is an expression of confidence in the State of Israel and the Israeli economy,” Smotrich was quoted as saying by the media.

US companies face boycott calls amid Gaza war

The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which began on October 7, has drawn widespread international attention and criticism. Israel’s ground operation in Gaza since the war has resulted in the death of 37,202 Palestinians and over 80,000 injuries. 

Criticis have accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians, prompting peace activities to launch boycott campaigns against US companies, which carry out their businesses in the West Asian nation or publicly support the Israeli military.

US, the closest ally of Israel, has been supporting its offensive by providing aid and weapons, escalating the boycott calls against these companies, to create a pressure on the US economy.

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First Published: Jun 13 2024 | 10:08 AM IST

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