Google and Apple have officially removed Palestine from their world maps and replaced it with Israel in a highly provocative move that has enraged Palestinians and social media activists supporting the cause of Palestine.
The besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank are mentioned and marked on Google maps, but since Tuesday, the US-based multinational technology company has removed the name of Palestine from all of its maps, simply considering the two regions as parts of Israel.
The move by Google and also by Apple in deleting Palestine from their world maps prompted Palestinians and others to support the two hashtags of #FreePalestine and #standwithpalestine on Twitter and other social media to express their strong dissent against the offensive move.
The two hashtags are now receiving countless comments and retweets.
US President Donald Trump has given Tel Aviv the green light to annex large parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley in his self-proclaimed “deal of the century,” which was unveiled in January with the aim of legitimizing Israel’s occupation and re-drawing the Middle East map.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that he would definitely begin cabinet-level discussions for annexation on July 1, in accordance with Trump’s plan.
However, Netanyahu’s much-publicized land grab plan, without clarifications, failed to be launched on the set date amid widening differences within the Israeli ruling coalition and against the backdrop of massive international opposition to the highly provocative attempt.
The delay came after crest-fallen Netanyahu failed to get the green light for the move both from his key coalition partner Benny Gantz, who has been refusing to endorse Netanyahu’s scheme, and the US.
The Israeli premier, who had publicly voiced full-throated support of Trump’s plan, also said that he would continue discussions with Washington over the scheme “in the coming days.”
Experts say there is evidence emerging that Netanyahu’s desired roadmap for annexing more Palestinian lands is at odds with the plan articulated by Trump.
Israel’s unilateral annexation moves have faced a near unanimous opposition from the international community, including the European Union (EU).
Trump’s scheme largely gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and allowing the regime to annex settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
According to the so-called peace plan, the future Palestinian state will consist of scattered lands linked together via bridges and tunnels.