A McDonald’s and Starbucks have been targeted in West Yorkshire amid a spate of attacks on businesses in the UK deemed to support Israel.
Windows were smashed at a Starbucks in Keighley on Tuesday night and stick insects were hurled through the doors of a McDonald’s franchise in the town on Tuesday night (October 31).
The reports came amid calls for a boycott of the fast food giant after McDonald’s in Israel offered free meals to members of the country’s military, who are engaged in an incursion into the Gaza Strip after Hamas gunmen attacked Israel on October 7.
Starbucks is reported to have sued its union earlier this month after the organisation posted a message on X in support of Palestine. The post has since been deleted.
Video on social media appears to show a group of hooded men smashing windows at the Starbucks in Bingley Street with hammers.
The TikTok clip then shows the aftermath with officers from West Yorkshire Police at the scene.
Another video shows stick insects being launched towards a till area at the McDonald’s franchise before shocked customers and staff.
A man in his twenties has been arrested in relation to one of the incidents and enquiries are ongoing with Bradford District Police, according to West Yorkshire Police.
The force said in a statement: “Police in Bradford are investigating after three incidents of criminal damage and public order offences in Keighley.
“Officers were called to three incidents in the last 24 hours, two at a McDonalds restaurant on Hard Ings Road and a Starbucks on Bingley Street.
“No injuries were reported at any of the incidents.”
Chief Inspector Paul Wood of Bradford District Police added: “We are aware of videos circulating on social media in relation to the incidents above.
“These incidents are understandably distressing to those locally, but thankfully no one was injured.
“Enhanced high visibility patrols are being deployed in the Keighley and wider Bradford area to provide reassurance to the community.”
Reports of alleged attacks in Keighley come after live mice were released in two McDonald’s outlets in Birmingham in an apparent protest by supporters of Palestine.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We are dismayed by the disinformation and inaccurate reports regarding our position in response to the conflict in the Middle East.
“McDonald’s Corporation is not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict, and any actions from our local Developmental Licensee business partners were made independently without McDonald’s consent or approval.”
They added: “Our hearts are with all of the communities and families impacted by this crisis. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our people in the region while supporting the communities where we operate.”
A Starbucks spokesperson said: “We are aware of the incident at our Keighley store, which remains closed. The safety of our partners (employees) and customers is our highest priority and we will continue to work closely with local police as investigations continue.”