Palestinian groups furious as Israeli jeans company Fox sets up shop in Ramallah

Activist says company 'supports occupation' and the Palestinian Authority is violating its own laws by allowing store opening to go ahead

Jerusalem

Like any successful businessman, Harel Wizel, is eager to expand his company, Fox, a popular chain of clothing shops in Israel. However, when Mr Wizel announced his growth plans in April few imagined the firm was about to open an outlet in Palestinian Ramallah.

The chain, which is now being advertised with large billboards in the Palestinian administrative capital, now plans to open a new shop in the city, which will be as a franchise.

The move recognises that fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled West Bank could be set for an economic boom, especially if John Kerry’s latest peace push gains traction.

But the decision has not pleased everyone. Several Palestinian groups are reported to be furious with the PA for allowing Fox to establish a shop, while local businessmen will be worried about the extra competition.

Zaid Shuaibi, outreach coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, said:

"Fox has stores in a number of settlements and supports Israeli occupation. it's totally inconceivable that while a growing number of Europeans are boycotting Israeli goods some Palestinian business men are helping an Israeli company do business in Ramallah.Palestinian activists will protest the shameful opening of Fox stores in Palestinian cities until they are closed down."

It is not the first time Mr Wizel and Fox have courted controversy. In 2008, the company signed up Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, for an advertising campaign. Ms Refaeli, who was reportedly paid $300,000 for wearing Fox’s clothes, avoided Israel’s compulsory military service by marrying a family friend– and thus gaining an exemption – before divorcing her husband soon after.

In one interview, Ms Refaeli, said: “I really wanted to serve in the IDF, but I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is, celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army.” The comments did not sit well with the majority of Israelis.

Fox is one of a growing number of companies targeting Ramallah. Ikea, the Swedish furniture group which is close to omnipotent in Western Europe, is reportedly being encouraged to set up shop in the Palestinian administrative capital. The Israelis already have an Ikea in which to spend the weekends, near Tel Aviv.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk