Google Palestine domain suspended after hacked over Israel reference

Hackers post message on homepage, saying "hi from Palestine"; urge Google to remove "Israel" reference from Google maps.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 27, 2013 09:28
1 minute read.
Google Palestine hack

Google Palestine hack. (photo credit: Screenshot)

Google’s Palestine domain was down on Tuesday after it was hacked Monday in protest over a Google maps reference to “Israel,” Al-Arabiya reported.

The webpage on Tuesday featured only a banner of text saying “account suspended.”

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“Uncle google we say hi from palestine to remember you that the country in google map not called israel. its called Palestine,” a statement said on the Google Palestine homepage.

The statement was signed by Virtual-Hackers’ Dod, Hij@ker, alzher, Mr–AnarShi- T, toxico-dz. The hackers also provided the link to the website of Palestine Anger Network www.hackteach.org.

Google’s public relations executive for the region, Ramy Kandil, told Al Arabiya in a statement that “there was an issue with the DNS registry in Palestine. As a result, some users going to google.com.ps and a few other web addresses were redirected to a different website. This issue appears to be resolved.”

“Google services in Palestine were not hacked. Users on different domains around the world are redirected to their local Google domain if they enter ‘google.com,’ so it may have appeared to some users in Palestine that google.com was affected. Google.com was not hacked,” Kandil added.

In May, the tagline on the homepage of Google’s Palestinian domain was changed from “Palestinian territories” to “Palestine.” Israel’s deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin reportedly sent a letter to Google at the time, saying that recognizing the existence of a Palestinian state is a mistake and could “also negatively impinge on the efforts of my government to bring about direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

“I would be grateful were you to reconsider this decision since it entrenches the Palestinians in their view that they can further their political aims through onesided actions rather than through negotiating and mutual agreement,” Elkin added.

Sabri Saidam, adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, reportedly commended the move, saying that this move was “a step in the right direction.”

“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,” Saidam said in statements to the BBC.


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