(CNN/Money) The coffee chain has issued a statement announcing that neither Starbucks nor CEO Howard Schultz “provides financial support to Israel,” or to its army, in the wake of what Starbucks (SBUX) called “false rumors.”

The company, which is known for flooding markets with its stores, also pointed out that it closed all of its stores in Israel in 2003 because of “operational challenges.”

Spokesman Jim Olson wouldn’t specify what challenges the company faced in Israel, but did say the decision to leave “was not related to political issues.”

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