Israeli beverage giant SodaStream announces new factory in Gaza

A pioneer in Israel-Arab co-existence in the private sector, SodaStream will build a new production facility in the Gaza Strip, a major boon to the Palestinian population.

By World Israel News Staff

On Thursday, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum announced that his company will build a factory in the Gaza Strip, a territory suffering from severe unemployment under the rule of the Hamas terror group.

Birnbaum told Israeli business news site Globes, “[W]e’re in the process of putting a plant in Gaza, which will be operated through a subcontractor. We want people in Gaza to have real jobs, because when there is prosperity and plenty, there will also be peace,” he said.

Birnbaum’s company, which was recently acquired by Pepsi for $3.2 billion, has a history of providing high-paying jobs to Palestinians in Samaria, where SodaStream operated a plant for years that represented an island of peace where Jews and Arabs worked side by side.

Birnbaum made the announcement alongside Pepsico CEO Ramon Laguarta at the Globes Business Conference, where Laguarta commented, “[Israel] should be very proud of what [it has] achieved in 70 years. As a stranger here, I see that you have turned the desert into something amazing and creative. I think you should feel very proud,” Globes reported.

SodaStream was established in 2007 and quickly took the world by storm with its home carbonation machine, capable of producing soda pop and other beverages in reusable bottles.

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Diversity in the plant is very important to us,” Birnbaum stressed, referring to his commitment to provide employment to Palestinians and Israelis alike.

“Business can be a bridge in certain cases,” agreed Laguarta.