- Do YOU know anyone who is behind these pro-Palestine attacks? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A gang of pro-Palestine vandals smashed the windows of a Starbucks in Yorkshire last night after yobs hurled mice at a string of McDonald’s restaurants in Birmingham after calling for a boycott of businesses accused of supporting Israel.
Shocking footage shows hooded men armed with hammers violently striking the glass windows of the café in Keighley.
In an attack on a McDonald’s franchise, also in Keighley, thugs draped in the red, white, green and black Palestinian flag released stick insects into the restaurant. Video of the apparent aftermath appears to indicate that its windows were also smashed by the gang last night.
Yesterday another activist shouted ‘free Palestine’ before emptying a box full of rodents into a McDonald’s, in Perry Barr, Birmingham. The day before, a different McDonald’s was targeted by the mice-hurling yobs in an incident which saw horrified diners flee the restaurant.
Pro-Palestinian activists have called for a boycott of companies they accuse of supporting Israel – among them McDonald’s and Starbucks. Last month, Starbucks sued its union, Starbucks Workers United, after the labour organisation posted a since-deleted message on X expressing solidarity with Palestinians.
And in Israel, a local McDonald’s operator offered discounts to soldiers and security forces.
It comes amid a pro-Palestinian backlash over Israel’s war against Hamas, the murderous band of terrorists who slaughtered more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and kidnapped more than 220 more on October 7.
Do YOU know anyone who is behind these pro-Palestine attacks? Email email@example.com
A spokesman from McDonald’s Corporation issued the following statement to MailOnline: ‘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.
‘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.
Why are McDonald’s and Starbucks being targeted amid the Israel-Hamas war?
Last month, Starbucks sued its union, Starbucks Workers United, after the labour organization posted a since-deleted message on X expressing solidarity with Palestinians.
The union group shared a message reading ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ above an image of a bulldozer operated by Hamas tearing down a fence on the Gaza strip, according to some news organizations who saw the post.
‘We unequivocally condemn these acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and disagree with the statements and views expressed by Workers United and its members,’ Starbucks said in a post. ‘Workers United’s words and actions belong to them, and them alone,’ the company added.
The action triggered calls to boycott Starbucks.
In Israel, a local McDonald’s operator has been offering discounts to soldiers, security forces and others affected since Hamas’ October 7 assault, according to Israeli authorities.
McDonald’s Israel has given out 100,000 free meals, according to posts on social media.
This prompted a consumer backlash and messages from other franchises distancing themselves from the move.
Franchise groups in Kuwait, Pakistan and other countries issued statements confirming that they did not share ownership with the Israeli franchise. Others also noted that they had made financial donations to aid those in Gaza.
‘In regard to the news that McDonald’s in Israel was donating meals. We affirm that it was an individual decision on their part,’ McDonald’s franchise in Saudi Arabia also said in a statement.
‘Neither global McDonald’s nor us nor any other country had a role or relationship with that decision, neither directly nor indirectly.’
‘We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our people in the region while supporting the communities where we operate.’
Meanwhile, shocking footage shows a group of men clad in black storming into a McDonald’s in Small Heath last night.
Chanting ‘Free, Free Palestine’ and waving the red, white, green and black Palestinian flag, one of the protesters steps forward and throws a large clear box containing white mice at staff behind the service counter.
The group then clap and repeatedly shout ‘f*** Israel’ before fleeing the restaurant as fast as they can.
Video of the Starbucks attack shared to social media shows two hooded men violently banging against the Keighley cafe’s glass with hammers.
As they make their way around the establishment they can be seen attacking every individual glass pane.
A spokesperson for Starbucks Keighley 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.’
Elsewhere in Keighley, black-clad vandals threw a box of stick insects at staff and workers in the McDonald’s kitchen.
Video which emerged this morning shows what appears to be the same McDonald’s covered with smashed windows.
Keighley and Ilkley’s MP, Robbie Moore told MailOnline: ‘I am sickened by last nights acts of vandalism and intimidation which were carried out in our community.
‘The smashing of windows at Keighley’s Starbucks and McDonald’s and the vile attempts to intimidate staff and customers were pathetic, cowardly and disgraceful acts.
‘Scaring & intimidating people, pick-axing windows, deliberately choosing to negatively impact local residents, employees, and customers – who have nothing to do with the situation in Gaza – will do nothing to solve the situation in the Middle East.
‘These acts are completely counterproductive – and an insult to all calling for peace in the Middle East.
‘We cannot let the situation abroad destabilise community relations here. I absolutely condemn all who carry out any criminal acts or choose to use such threatening behaviour.
The perpetrators must be dealt with with the full force of the law. I spoke with West Yorkshire Police late last night and have had contact with them again this morning. I have also written to our Mayor of West Yorkshire who is responsible for Police Strategy across Keighley and our wider area requesting an update on her strategy to deal with these increased attacks.’
Also yesterday, a masked gang of pro-Palestine activists hurled rodents at a third McDonald’s restaurant in Birmingham while chanting and flag-waving in protest at the fast food chain’s alleged support of Israel.
At another chain in Birmingham, a pro-Gaza activist shouted ‘free Palestine’ before emptying a box full of mice into a McDonald’s.
Video shows a man wearing a mask walking towards Perry Barr McDonald’s in Birmingham holding a box of mice.
The protester then walks through the doors of the fast food chain and shouts ‘free Palestine’, before dropping the tupperware containing the rodents on the floor.
Shrieks from workers and customers can be heard in the background, as the protester, followed by another man filming, are seen running away as fast as they can.
In other footage shared online from the same incident, restaurant workers can be seen desperately scrambling to contain the dozens of rodents that had been left in a container in the middle of the restaurant.
The mice can be seen scurrying frantically as horrified customers watch on, with a small child heard in the background saying: ‘That’s a lot of rats’.
The man recording the video, who claims to have stumbled upon the unfolding chaos, says behind the camera: ‘Oh my days. Look at this! They’ve just dropped this off at McDonald’s. All these rats.
‘Somebody just took that in. Oh my days’, he adds.
The man then turns the camera around to reveal his face, as he gathers among other scared customers outside.
It comes just a day after a pro-Palestine activist emptied another box of mice into another McDonald’s in Birmingham before walking off and shouting ‘f*** Israel’, as horrified diners fled the infested restaurant.
In the footage of Tuesday’s attack one of the workers is seen holding a wooden broom as they look on in shock at the mice scurrying along the floor as another tries to manoeuvre a plastic bag underneath the box.
A child’s voice can then be heard saying: ‘that is a lot of rats’ as the man filming continues to react in shock, adding: ‘look at that’.
Later, another voice can be heard asking: ‘Did somebody just chuck that in?’ to which the man filming replies: ‘Yeah’.
It comes a day after shocking footage of a separate attack shared on social media showing a man throwing a box of mice over the floor of a different McDonald’s on Monday.
Diners were waiting for meals in the branch at the Star City leisure complex in Birmingham as the mice – spray painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag – were sent scurrying across the floor.
McDonald’s confirmed on Monday that a ‘number of mice’ were released into the restaurant and it insisted the branch, now reopened, was ‘fully sanitised’ after the rodents were removed.
The clip, captioned ‘enjoy your rat burgers’, begins with a man holding on to fake number plates that read ‘PAIISTN’ and ‘Free Palestine’ as he arrived in his car.
The one-man protest was part of wider calls to boycott McDonald’s – who have offered free meals to IDF soldiers – along with Starbucks and Disney, for allegedly favouring Israel during the ongoing conflict.
The man, wearing a Palestinian flag around his head, opened the boot of his car and grabbed the box of rodents before walking into the fast-food chain, spilling them onto the ground.
In the footage, two women run away in horror as the mice scuttle across the restaurant floor. The activist can be heard repeatedly shouting ‘Free f***ing Palestine‘ as he walks back to his car, later adding ‘Boycott Israel’ and ‘F*** Israel’ before driving off.
At the end of the footage, a block of text on the screen reads: ‘Targeted boycott. The Big Three. Start by boycotting these brands that are directly involved in supporting the Israeli apartheid.’
Towards the end of the video, a recording of a phone call is also played as one man can be heard bragging: ‘All the alarms and going off and that ‘the doors are closed’. A second voice then adds: ‘Successful mission’.
A spokesman for McDonald’s told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of an incident in our Birmingham Star City restaurant this evening. The restaurant has been fully sanitised and our pest control partners have been called out to conduct a full inspection.’
West Midlands Police said it is investigating the case after ‘live rodents were thrown into a restaurant’.
A statement on X added: ‘We understand the distress this will have caused and it’s not acceptable in any circumstances.
‘This is currently being treated as a public nuisance offence and we’ve active lines on enquiries to identify, and then arrest, who was involved’.
It is currently unclear who exactly has been behind the McDonald’s mice stunts – and whether they are they same person – as the man who originally posted a video of the incident on Monday denied responsibility.
Former limousine hire company worker and convicted fraudster Aamir Khan, 32, told MailOnline he had been sent the clip of the incident on Monday evening anonymously.
His brother Zahid, a fugitive who fled to Dubai before the pair were convicted over an exclusive car number plate scam five years ago, told us Mr Khan had merely re-posted the clip on TikTok which then went viral.
Mr Khan’s TikTok and Instagram accounts – where friends congratulated him on the stunt – have now been deleted and police have launched an investigation to trace the person who emptied a box.
Mr Khan’s Instagram page included numerous pictures of him posing on the driveway of what was once the Khan family home in Moseley, Birmingham, with one as recently a fortnight ago.
Neighbours said the address, thought to have an indoor swimming pool, had been turned into a house of multiple occupancy but was still within the Khan family. Land Registry documents show it was bought by a Basharaf Khan in March.
One neighbour said Aamir Khan still visited regularly, adding: ‘I saw him go off with friends recently in a blue Range Rover’. Another said he had noticed a Palestinian flag in the porch of the property just a matter of days ago, while a tenant at the address said she believed he kept a first floor flat there.
Occupants at the address also recognised pictures of Mr Khan, with one tenant saying: ‘His name is Aamir and he is the owner. He comes around in the evenings sometimes.’
A Vauxhall Corsa said to belong to Mr Khan was amongst the vehicles parked in the gated driveway this afternoon.
Neighbours at another address linked to the Khan family in the Hall Green suburb said Aaamir sometimes ‘turned up at the wheel of a supercar’ to visit the occupants.
Mr Khan’s Instagram page suggested he worked at Royal Limos, a luxury hire car company in the city.
But a man answering the phone at the limo company claimed Mr Khan left the firm four years ago, and now had a loose relationship whereby he was paid commission for attracting customers through publishing the firm’s vehicles on his social media.
The man, who called himself Adam, denied having anything to do with the McDonald’s incident.
When he was contacted via social media, Mr Khan said the McDonald’s video was ‘sent to me anonymously so I don’t know who did it.’
In 2018, Birmingham Crown Court heard that Aamir’s brother, Zahid Khan was the ringleader of a West Midlands gang – which included Aamir and Ayan Ahmed plus cousin Zubair Ahmad – who stole the rights to high-value personalised registration plates and sold them on for tens of thousands of pounds.
Just days before the trial was due to finish Zahid, then 31, fled the country. He was given a 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty in his absence.
The jury in June failed to reach a verdict on his three co-defendants, but all were found unanimously guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud after another trial.
Zahid went on to taunt police and the judge from his Dubai bolthole, where he posted videos of himself carousing with rapper Busta Rhymes at a VIP party.
Speaking to MailOnline from Dubai via WhatsApp yesterday, Zahid said his brother had only reposted a video he had been sent.
West Midlands Police said it was treating the McDonald’s incident as a ‘public nuisance offence’.
The force added in a statement: ‘We understand the distress this will have caused and it’s not acceptable in any circumstances… we’ve active lines on enquiries to identify, and then arrest, who was involved’.