Intel pauses $15 billion expansion of Israeli chip plant

Intel has decided to halt its plans to expand a chip plant in Israel, a move that would have involved an additional $15 billion investment, according to a report by Calcalist. The company has not provided a specific reason for the decision, leading to speculation that it might be linked to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Despite the pause, Intel emphasized its commitment to Israel, stating, “Israel continues to be one of our key global manufacturing and R&D sites and we remain fully committed to the region.”

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In December, Intel announced an increased investment in the chip manufacturing plant located in Kiryat Gat, southern Israel. This additional investment would have raised the plant’s total cost to $25 billion and secured a $3.2 billion grant from the Israeli government. The facility is expected to be operational by 2028.

Israeli Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich praised the investment at the time, highlighting its significance during a period of conflict. “Such an investment is an expression of confidence in the State of Israel and the Israeli economy,” Smotrich said.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which started on October 7, has led to widespread international attention and criticism. The ongoing violence has resulted in significant casualties and has prompted calls for boycotts against US companies operating in Israel or supporting the Israeli military.