Google’s move is more or less in line with the UN’s decision October to name Palestine as a non-member observer state. The status given to Palestine will allow the state to join UN debates as well as global bodies such as the International Criminal Court, in theory atleast.
Up until May 1, anyone visiting http://www.google.ps were shown the phrase Palestinian Territories, which has now been replaced with the word Palestine. This change is definitely not a huge one but, it has attracted criticism from politicians in Israel. They have slammed Google for invading and getting involved in a complex issue that has not been resolved yet.
Israeli foreign ministry released a statement saying, “This change raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private Internet company in international politics.”
Google said that it has changed the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across all its products. This was done in consultation with authorities like United Nations, ICANN, ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other such international organisations.
Palestinians were delighted following this change and Dr Sabri Saidam, advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories.
“Most of the traffic that happens now happens in the virtual world and this means putting Palestine on the virtual map as well as on the geographic maps.”