McDonald's Israel refuses to open a branch in the West Bank town of Ariel, and furious residents are threatening a boycott. They had hoped that the hamburger chain would open a branch in the city's new mall opened by Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE:RMLI), but McDonald's Israel says that it has a longstanding policy of not opening branches in the West Bank.
Ariel Mayor Eli Shviro was surprised by McDonald's Israel's refusal and said that he immediately brought the matter up with Rami Levi Chain Stores CEO Rami Levy. "If this is the case, it is a miserable decision. It discriminates against us. We are residents just like everyone in the country, and this is out of place," Shviro told "Channel 2 News Online". "I strongly hope that other big companies will come to us."
Rami Levi said that other Israeli companies have also declined to open outlets in his new mall. "This is mistaken thinking," he said.
The Israeli franchise of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is owned by Omri Padan, a founder of Peace Now.
McDonald's Israel said in response, "This has always been the policy of Dr. Omri Padan."
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