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Israel settlers attack McDonald’s for ‘unofficial boycott’

Israeli settler leaders are campaigning to prevent McDonald’s from opening a branch in Ben-Gurion Airport, claiming that the global restaurant chain unofficially boycotts West Bank settlements.

According to the report in Ynet, settlers want to prevent McDonald’s from “participating in a government tender for the duty free hall” at the international airport.

In a letter to the finance and transportation ministers, Yossi Dagan, head of the so-called Samaria Regional Council, claimed that McDonald’s Israel has continuously refused to open any branches in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“In the past few days, I have learned about McDonald’s intention to compete in the Israel Airport Authority tender to open restaurants at Ben-Gurion Airport”, Dagan wrote.

Dagan claimed that the head of McDonald’s Israel, Omri Padan, is responsible for the decision to boycott the settlements.

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“This blatant boycott was not created casually, but officially and openly, as Omri Padan emphasised in 2013 when he vehemently refused to open a branch of the chain in Ariel [settlement]”, he wrote.

“The law to prevent harm to the State of Israel via a boycott is clear and unequivocal (regarding) any public call for a cultural, academic or economic boycott of any person or entity solely because of a connection to the State of Israel”, Dagan continued.

The settler leader claimed that Padan is in violation of the anti-boycott law, and thus cannot participate in a government tender.

Ynet noted that “Padan was among the founders of the Peace Now movement, which has been advocating an end to occupation of the West Bank”.

In response, Ynet reported, “McDonald’s Israel said the global McDonald’s headquarters did not approve branches in the West Bank”.

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