In an unexpected move, McDonald’s took a decisive stand on Israel’s West Bank settlements when it refused to open a branch in a planned mall in the Ariel settlement. The owner of McDonald’s Israel has a policy of not building in the occupied territories, said a spokesperson. The move was apparently not coordinated with the organization’s headquarters. The franchise’s decision has sparked backlash from the mall owners, settlers, and politicians. “McDonald’s has gone from being a for-profit company to an organization with an anti-Israeli political agenda,” a leader of a settler group said. The mall’s owner says Burger King has expressed interest, but a spokesperson for the company denied the claim.