Fast food franchise McDonald’s refuses to open a branch of its chain in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, citing that it is against the company's ethics policy, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The branch was due to open in a mall being built in Ariel, a settlement beyond the Green Line, the demarcation line between Israel and territories captured in 1967.
The decision was met with much controversy in Israel, according to the New York Times. The paper quoted a McDonald's spokesperson in Israel as saying that the franchise giant has resisted operating in territories seized by Israel since 1967.
International companies like Caterpillar, France's Veolia and Assa Abloy, Adidas and G4S are coming under international pressure - especially from Palestinian and pro-Palestinian human rights activists - to break links to the settlements.
Palestinian human rights activist and founding member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Omar Barghouti, notes: "Ethical responsibility aside, financial observers will not miss the economic implications of this decision by McDonald's boycotting the settlements, as a bare minimum, to avoid being boycotted by human rights-conscious citizens worldwide may make financial sense."