Intel, the world’s largest computer chipmaker, started work on a massive $3.5 billion semiconductor plant in southern Israel, its largest-ever investment in the Jewish state. Laying the cornerstone of the new factory, known as Fab 28, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert praised the "unprecedented investment" which will see the chip giant invest a total of $5 billion in construction in Israel. "We have had some great investments in the past but never like this," Olmert said. "Anyone who invests $5 billion here is saying that Hamas does not frighten them, that terror doesn't frighten them and that they have faith in Israel and the stability of its economy." The manufacturing facility should be ready for operation in mid-2008 and is expected to create 2,000 jobs, increasing Intel's 6,000-strong Israeli workforce by a third. Intel Corp. said its that exports from Israel rose 1.8 percent to $1.19 billion in 2005.
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