Intel was the victim of a hoax this week when a fake press release was sent out to reporters saying the world’s largest chip maker was pulling back on an almost $6 billion investment in Israel in response to the country’s actions during the latest fighting in Gaza.
The fake press release, which was presented on a Web site that reportedly looked very similar to Intel’s official online newsroom, included made-up quotes from CEO Brian Krzanich and Mooly Eden, president of Intel’s Israel operations.
Intel on Aug. 7 issued a brief statement saying that “an unknown individual has sent what purports to be a news release to some members of the media concerning Intel’s operations in Israel. This is a hoax. The purported news release does not come from Intel and is false.”
The hoax Intel site has since been taken down, but Business Insider captured a screen shot of it and published the full text of the fake press release. The release listed the name of Nick Veritas as the contact person for the information, and a person who answered a call at the given phone number initially tried to convince Business Insider and other publications that the news was real. In an emailed statement to reporters later, the person admitted to the hoax and said that the “purpose was to show the disconnect between what companies say and do regarding corporate responsibility and human-rights.”
Intel officials in May said the company was investing $5.8 billion to upgrade a facility in Israel. The chip maker currently has operations in the country in Jerusalem, Haifa, Petach Tikva, Qiryat Gat and Yakum. The Israeli operations employ about 10,000 people and generated $3.8 billion last year.
Fighting in Gaza has resumed after a three-day cease fire between Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant group and the ruling organization in the region. Palestinian health authorities have reported 1,893 have died and another 9,805 have been injured, while Israeli officials have said 64 of their soldiers and three civilians have died. The United Nations is estimating that about 65,000 Gaza residents have lost their homes during the fighting, according to CNN.