Google adopts use of 'Palestine'

May 3, 2013 at 5:44 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 3 (UPI) -- Internet search giant Google says it's changed the tagline on the front page of its Palestinian edition from "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine."

The search engine changed the tagline on its home page in the Palestinian Territories Friday. Beneath the Google logo, the word "Palestine" appears in Arabic.

The terminology is a controversial issue because the official status of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem has not been decided.

The United Nations recognized Palestine as an observer state last November -- an action opposed by the United States and Israel.

"We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries," Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said. "In this case, we are following the lead of the U.N., Icann [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organization for Standardization] and other international organizations."

Israel has responded by saying Palestinian statehood is a matter for negotiation, not unilateral moves.

"Google is not a diplomatic entity, which begs the question why are they getting involved in international politics and on the controversial side," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Topics: Gaza, Google
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