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SodaStream Will Close Its West Bank Factory In 2015

SodaStream Will Close Its West Bank Factory In 2015
[Photo: Flickr user Ted Eytan]

SodaStream will shutter its West Bank facility and move the manufacturing of its home-carbonation machines to a new factory in Israel’s southern Negev region in 2015.

Palestinian activists had called for a boycott of SodaStream for the location of its factory in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 that Palestinians want to be part of an independent state. The company said it was not bowing to pressure, and the decision was for “purely commercial” reasons.

The Israeli government is granting SodaStream $20 million to move to its new location in Lehavim, and the company said improved operations will result in 2% savings.

Earlier this year, controversy over its West Bank factory led Scarlett Johansson, who serves as SodaStream’s celebrity face, to step down as an Oxfam ambassador. “I was aware of that particular factory before I signed,” the actress said in March. “And it still doesn’t seem like a problem–at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute.”

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