Coca Cola factory to open in Gaza Strip

Israel oversees first shipments of machinery, building to begin this week; Factory estimated to employ up to 1,000 employees

Shipment of machinery from Jordan to the Gaza Strip (Roee Idan)

Shipment of machinery from Jordan to the Gaza Strip (Roee Idan)

Coca Cola will open a factory in the Gaza Strip, the new factory construction beginning this week.

A Pepsi factory has been Gaza since 1962, producing 7-Up and Pepsi Cola production since 1997.

Israel approved the first imports of machinery into the Strip from Jordan, IDF Coordinator of Government Activities (COGAT) in the Territories overseeing the shipments. A reported 10 truckloads of machinery were delivered to Gaza on Monday and further shipments planned from Germany and Turkey.

The factory will be built in the Karmi industrial zone and is expected to eventually employ up to 1,000 employees, estimated building costs at $20 million.

Palestinian entrepreneurs Munib al-Masru and Zahi Khouri initiated the project, Khouri owning three Coca Cola franchises in the West Bank.

Director-general of the Palestinian National Beverage Company, Emad al-Hidi confirmed that the factory should be functioning by 2015 stating, “The factory building is ready, lines of produce are ready. We hope to be able to conclude all the stages without any obstacles.” He additionally stated that by 2016 that factory would most likely employ up to 360 Palestinians in Gaza.