Gaza, Alray - Israeli media sources unveiled that Israel-based FOX clothing chain is planning to open a branch in the city of Ramallah, the center of the occupied West Bank, which sparked protest and outrage among Palestinians.
Large signs in the city announcing the opening of the Fox store enraged Palestinian activists involved in various campaigns to promote boycotts against Israel.
The activists accused the Palestinian Authority of issuing permission to an Israeli company to operate in Ramallah in violation of Palestinian law, and said they would wage a series of protests against the plans to open the Fox store. They also threatened to bring the issue to Palestinian courts.
Activist Zeid al-Shuaibi said that opening a Fox branch in Ramallah was in violation of PA laws banning normalization with Israel and trade with settlers.
He said that Fox has stores in a number of settlements and “supports Israeli occupation,” adding that it was “inconceivable that while the Europeans have decided to boycott settler products, Palestinians are helping an Israeli company do business in Ramallah.”
The uproar comes amid plans to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and could potentially prove a flash point for popular discontent as the talks continue.
Fadi al-Arouri, a Palestinian journalist involved in the antinormalization campaign, said that the opening of a Fox branch in Ramallah was a “stain of disgrace in light of calls for boycotting the state of occupation and its products.”
Arouri accused the PA’s Economy Ministry of facilitating the entry of Israeli products to the Palestinian market by giving Israeli companies and merchants permits to work in the Palestinian territories.
A spokesman for the ministry, Hatem Sarhan, said that the planned Fox store in Ramallah was not part of the Israeli firm. He said a company under the same name had registered with his ministry in April 2008 as a local Palestinian business.