Last year, Gaza suffered heavily by initiating a war with Israel. Over its course, Gaza suffered numerous casualties and much damage to its land. When the war was officially over, the Inquisitr reported on the debilitating aftermath. Apparently, all the building materials they received didn’t go to rebuilding their cities, but for fixing destroyed underground tunnels that run into Israel. As for any humanitarian aid, they were sold on the Black Market instead of given to the injured and needy. Yet, the majority of Palestinians believe they won the war just because Israel — a country with the third most powerful military in the world — wasn’t able to stop them.
Despite the war-torn destruction and high liability, some companies are finding Gaza to be a prospect for business. Coca-Cola, the second-most popular cola company, sees that as they finally push forward with plans to build a plant in the war-torn territory.
According to Times of Israel, the building of Coca-Cola’s first plant in the Gaza Strip began last month, December 22. This was marked by the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities (COGAT) in the Territories overseeing the entry of the initial construction equipment. The plant will be located in Gaza’s Karmi industrial zone and will cost $20 million to build. It is expected to employ 1,000 workers. Palestinian entrepreneurs, Munib al-Masri and Zahi Khouri — the latter being chairman of the Palestinian National Beverage Company and owner of three Coca-Cola franchises in the West Bank — initiated the building.
Washington Post followed-up on the report of the new Coca-Cola facility in which they provide details on why a facility is now being built. Zahi Khouri provided a statement on what used to be done for Coca-Cola products in the Gaza Strip.
“We’ve been shipping to Gaza on a regular basis with the approval of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli authorities. It made commercial sense to have a plant [in Gaza] so we could sell the product at a much a lower cost.”
Also, the timing was important because Coca-Cola is recognized to be supportive of Israel and usually gets targeted by the “Boycott Israel” movement. It also does not help that the construction of the plant is happening when so many feel broader reconstruction efforts are failing. To put this into perspective, about 130,000 tons of construction materials entered Gaza since the war ended. Yet, Gaza needs 5 million tons of construction material to rebuild.
Criticisms aside, do you think Gaza having a Coca-Cola plant will help with the territory? Or do you think this endeavor is already a bust?
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