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Beigel-Beigel Pretzel Plant May Pull Out of Samaria

Reports surface that Unilever wants to move 'Beigel-Beigel' plant from Barkan to "smaller" Israel. The firm's response: "We don't discuss details."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/12/2010, 2:45 PM / Last Update: 10/12/2010, 3:11 PM

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Food manufacturer Unilever Israel reportedly intends to close down the “Beigel-Beigel" pretzel factory in Barkan, Samaria, and open a new one in its stead within the so-called “Green Line,” on territory that was included in Israel's 1949 armistice lines.

After initially buying only part of the pretzel factory, Unilever Israel recently gained full control of the plant by buying the founding Beigel family's remaining stock as well. Daily newspaper Maariv reported Tuesday that this move was at least partially motivated by the company's desire to move the plant out of the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Once the buy-off is completed, Unilever Israel apparently intends to implement a stepped-up schedule for moving the factory, along with its 140 employees, into what is sometimes called  “smaller Israel.” The report also cited business sources who said that in order to avoid “political discomfiture,” some of the marketing of the factory's goods is presently being carried out through third parties.

In response to a query from Arutz Sheva, Beigel-Beigel stated that “the sale of Beigel-Beigel is still an ongoing process and we do not wish to discuss its details in the media. At the same time and independently of this, we are always checking out alternative sites in order to maximize efficiency, but there is no concrete decision regarding the Beigel-Beigel factory.”

The Beigel family began producing pretzels in 1880 in Krakow, Poland, where it had eight bakery shops and coffee shops. Two of the family's sons opened Israel's first pretzel factory in 1933.