An advertisement for the Fox fashion chain has been removed from a commercial center in Ramallah following reports
that the Israeli company is planning to open its first store
in the West Bank city within a month.
A construction worker told Ynet that "the sign was likely removed following many objections voiced by passersby who were unsatisfied with the advertising of an Israeli company in the city. Many curious residents arrived today to see the sign and couldn't find it."
Commercial center in Ramallah on Sunday
Commercial center in Ramallah on Monday (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Fox CEO and one of the company owners, Harel Wizel, told Ynet: "I don't know anything about the sign being removed. The store is scheduled to be opened in a month and will sell women's, men's and children's clothes. At the moment the plan is for one store."
Square next to Ramallah commercial center where store is expected to open (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Who is the local franchisee?
"I haven't been in touch with him. I only received an approval in principle."
Is it possible the store will not open because of the opposition in the city?
"I haven't dealt with that at all. I don’t place too much importance on it."
But despite the protest voiced against the opening of the Israeli-owned brand, some Palestinian consumers welcome the chain's arrival.
Ramallah resident Lutfi Ahmad hopes the store will open in the city. "I am very happy about the opening of a Fox store in Ramallah. Clothes here are very expensive and we can't deal with such high prices. The Fox store opening here may offer us cheaper clothes," he says.
"I don't really care whether the company is Israeli or not, as long as we find nice fashion in prices matching our living. Otherwise everything will fail."
Jamal Daniel hopes new Fox store will create competition and reduce prices in Ramallah (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Another city resident, Jamal Daniel, told Ynet: "It's good to hear that Israeli companies are competing with the city's clothing stores. We all know that because of the tourists visiting Ramallah,
prices here are going up. It's possible that the opening of a Fox store will create full competition and reduce prices in many businesses."
Yet the objection to the store is not just voiced by political activists. Local resident Ali Hussein told Ynet, "I am strongly opposed to the opening of a Fox store in Ramallah or a store belonging to any Israeli company. Such a move could serve the economic situation in Israel.
"I am certain that many of the residents will not want the store here. We have many clothing stores in the city which must be supported rather than Israeli companies."
Majdi Yassin, another resident, is against the move as well: "It's a new thing, opening a store which belongs to an Israeli chain. Personally, I will not buy from this store as long as the Israeli government continues the occupation."
Basil Sura, who owns a clothing store in Ramallah. 'There is no need for Fox to come here. Our products are better' (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Other opponents are owners of the city's clothing stores, who see Fox as a threat to their businesses.
Basil Sura, who owns a clothing store in Ramallah, told Ynet: "I would rather buy the products we manufacture, because we are not short of goods. There is no need for competing Israeli companies like Fox to operate here. We have better products than any Israeli products. Jewish merchant buy clothes and shoes from us and sell them in Tel Aviv, in Israel."
Meirav Crystal contributed to this report