A chain of pizza shops has closed in Israel following a takeover bid by the Jewish-American businessman who controls Papa’s in the country, the company said.
The Papa’s Group, which includes Papa John’s, Papa Murphy’s and Pizza Hut, is the largest pizza chain in Israel.
“We are deeply saddened and deeply troubled by the announcement of the closing of our family-owned pizza shop in Tel Aviv,” the company posted on Twitter.
A tweet from the company read: “Papa’s is shutting down.
Our hearts go out to the owners and their families.”
“The news was confirmed by the Israeli authorities and we are in contact with them,” the Papa’s group said in a statement.
Papa John’s posted on its Twitter account that it is closing its Tel Aviv store and said it will reopen a store in the northern city of Ashdod.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai tweeted that the company had announced it would close the restaurant, saying, “The city of Tel Aviv is in mourning and we call on all those who are working in Tel al-Ofer to join us in mourning.”
Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported that the Israeli government said the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was over and it will not negotiate with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas, a Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, has said he will not take part in a peace deal, which is in effect until it is officially signed by Palestinians and Israel.
Abbas is in charge of negotiating a new agreement with the Palestinians.
Israel has said the closure was part of the process to shut down the businesses.
Earlier on Thursday, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said he would not negotiate a deal with Abbas, who he described as the “most dangerous leader in the region.”
Netanyahu said Abbas would never accept a Palestinian state, and said he did not have the will to negotiate with him.
Huldai said the closures had caused hardship and hardship for thousands of Palestinians.
“It’s not a new situation, but it has caused a lot of distress,” he said.
“The owners of the stores are very angry and the families are very sad.”
The chain’s last Pizza Hut in Tel-Aviv was shuttered in April.
In a statement, the Papa John & Sons company said it would continue to operate the stores in Israel and the United States.