#World News

McDonald's to buy back Israeli stores after boycott

By Jemma Dempsey

Fast food giant McDonald’s is to buy back all its Israeli restaurants following a boycott of the brand in response to the Israel-Hamas war.

The company said it had reached an agreement with franchisee Alonyal for the return of 225 outlets across the country employing 5,000 people.

McDonald’s was criticised after Alonyal started giving away thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers.

It admitted in January the conflict had “meaningfully impacted” its business.

Alonyal, which is led and owned by chief executive Omri Padan, has operated McDonald’s restaurants in Israel for more than 30 years.

McDonald’s uses a franchise system which means that individual operators are licensed to run outlets and employ staff.

The boycott of McDonald’s was sparked after Muslim-majority countries such as Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan issued statements distancing themselves from the firm for its perceived support of Israel.

Vocal protests were staged world-wide as the grassroots boycott spread beyond the Middle East. As well as restaurants in the region, McDonald’s businesses in France, Indonesia and Malaysia have also been affected.

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