Two Israeli Arab businessmen who were planning to open a Fox clothing store in Ramallah have backtracked following a wave of protests by “anti-normalization” activists and journalists, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Fox is an Israel-based clothing store that has many stores around the country, including in the Arab sector.

One of the businessmen is from east Jerusalem, while the second is from the North.

The two won the franchise to open a Fox store in Ramallah, the first of its kind in the Palestinian territories.

The new project was supposed to provide jobs for nearly 150 Palestinians, some of whom had already received training to start working in the Ramallah branch.

Although the owners had obtained permission from the PA Ministry of Economy to open the clothing store, Palestinian activists and journalists launched a campaign against the opening of the store in Ramallah.

The activists and journalists said that the opening of an Israeli clothing store in a Palestinian city was a form of “normalization” with Israel.

One of the leaders of the campaign, Fadi Arouri, a photojournalist with China’s Xinhua News Agency, told Wattan TV that the opening of a Fox store in Ramallah was a “stain of disgrace.”

Arouri has also led campaigns aimed at preventing Israeli journalists from working in PA-controlled territories.

Earlier this week, a group of Palestinian activists demonstrated in the center of Ramallah in protest against the intention to open a Fox store in the city.

The activists called on the Palestinian Authority to ban Israeli firms from opening businesses in Palestinian cities.

Following the protests, the two businessmen decided this week to cancel the project, although renovation work at the new clothing store had reached an advanced stage.

A Palestinian businessman in Ramallah expressed sorrow over the decision not to open the Fox store, saying this was a blow to the Palestinian economy.

“Many people could have profited from this project,” the businessman told the Post. “It’s sad when thugs and extortionists succeed in preventing any economic project.”

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