SodaStream to move its West Bank factory in 2015

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

JERUSALEM (AP) — A representative for Israeli drink maker SodaStream International Ltd. says its factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank will be relocated next year to southern Israel.

Nirit Hurwitz said Wednesday that the facility will move in 2015 to Lehavim, in Israel's southern Negev region. She said the decision to move is for "purely commercial" reasons.

Palestinian activists had launched a campaign boycotting the company because of the factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 from Jordan and claimed by the Palestinians.

SodaStream has said it employs hundreds of Palestinians and gives them equal benefits as Israeli workers.

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said: "We are working with the Israeli government to secure work permits for our Palestinian employees."