McDonald's refuses to operate in Jewish settlement

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli branch of McDonald's says it won't open a restaurant in a Jewish settlement to protest Israel settlement policy.

Irina Shalmor, spokeswoman for McDonald's Israel, said the owners of a planned mall in the Ariel settlement asked McDonald's to open a branch there about six months ago. The chain refused because it is the policy of McDonald's Israel's owner to stay out of the occupied territories.

The decision was not coordinated with McDonald's headquarters in the U.S., she said.

Israeli lawmakers have protested the decision, reported in local media Thursday. One says she'll boycott the chain.

Tzahi Nehimias, co-owner of the mall, says Burger King and an Israeli burger chain both offered to open branches at the mall.

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