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An Intel office in Israel Alamy Stock Photo

Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in West Bank; Intel halts expansion of factory in Israel

Four Palestinians were killed yesterday by Israeli “occupation fire” in the town of Kfar Naima.

ISRAELI FORCES KILLED four Palestinians on Monday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority said, one of whom the military said had started a fire at an Israeli outpost.

Hundreds of Palestinians and more than a dozen Israelis have been killed in violence across the West Bank since the outbreak of the war between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza began on 7 October.

Four Palestinians were killed yesterday by Israeli “occupation fire” in the town of Kfar Naima, north-west of Ramallah, the territory’s health ministry said.

A general strike was called in Ramallah by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in response to the killings, along with a pre-planned rally for Palestinians jailed by Israel.

The Israeli military said it shot at a group of four people who attempted to flee in a vehicle and tried to “run over forces” when Israeli police went to Kfar Naima to arrest a suspect. One Israeli officer was lightly hurt, an army statement said.

One of those killed was accused of setting fire to a caravan in a nearby settler outpost, Sde Ephraim Farm.

An Israeli police statement said a gun and explosive devices were found when officers searched the vehicle in Kfar Naima.

Meanwhile, Intel is halting the expansion of a major factory project in Israel, which was going to pump an extra $15 billion towards a chip plant.

The chip giant in December said it was going to expand an ongoing $10 billion plan at the Kiryat Gat site, in the south of the country, currently under construction.

Intel publicly stated no reason for the pause for the next phase. “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.

It added that “managing large-scale projects, especially in our industry, often involves adapting to changing timelines”.

“Decisions are based on business conditions, market dynamics and responsible capital management.”

Israel is Intel’s third-largest country of operation by asset size, according to its annual report, after the United States and Ireland.

The semiconductor giant has been present in Israel for fifty years, with the opening of a research center in Haifa.

During the 2010s, Intel became the leading employer in Israel’s thriving tech sector, according to the company’s website.

In 2017, the American company paid $15.3 billion to take control of Israeli start-up Mobileye, which specializes in assistance and autonomous driving. Intel floated part of Mobileye’s capital on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2022 but retains control of the company.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and hundreds of thousands of settlers have since moved to the Palestinian territory, in breach of international law.

At least 524 Palestinians have been killed across the West Bank by Israeli forces or settlers, Palestinian officials say.

Over the same period at least 14 Israelis have been killed in the territory, according to an AFP toll based on Israeli figures.

© AFP 2024