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Intel snared in $6B Israel divestiture hoax

A fake press release says the chipmaker is pulling out of its $6 billion investment because of the "destruction and loss of life resulting from Israel's recent assault on Gaza."

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shows off one of the company's chips. James Martin/CNET

It was revealed in May that Intel was investing nearly $6 billion to upgrade its chip facility in southern Israel. But, on Thursday, some news sources received a press release that said Intel was doing an about-face on this investment because of Israel's attacks on Gaza over the past few weeks.

"The Kiryat Gat facility is only 15 miles from the northern Gaza Strip," the press release read. "Reports of the destruction and loss of life resulting from Israel's recent assault on Gaza, in addition to the blockade that Israel has imposed on the people of Gaza for the past several years is not something that business leaders can continue to ignore."

It turns out, however, the press release was fake.

A person going by the name Nick Veritas (Veritas is Latin for truth) went to great lengths to create the false press release and a spoof Intel newsroom webpage. The release had phony quotes from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich saying "Intel takes seriously our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen."

The fake Intel newsroom webpage is no longer functioning and Intel has since issued a statement on the matter confirming it was a spoof.

"An unknown individual has sent what purports to be a news release to some members of the media concerning Intel's operations in Israel," Intel's statement reads. "This is a hoax. The purported news release does not come from Intel and is false."