Google (illustration)
Google (illustration) Thinkstock

Palestinian Arab journalists protested over the weekend that Google removed the “Palestine” tag from its maps application, but the web giant says it never had a Palestine tag on its maps to begin with, Haaretz reported on Thursday.

The journalists saw the removal of the name “Palestine” as a part of an Israeli plan to dismiss the existence of a Palestinian entity. A campaign was mounted on Twitter under the #PalestineIsHere hashtag, according to the newspaper.

“The Forum of Palestinian Journalists condemns the crime carried out by Google in deleting the name of Palestine, and calls for Google to rescind its decision and apologize to the Palestinian people,” reads part of the statement from the Forum of Palestinian Journalists, posted to its website August 3.

“… The move is designed to falsify history, geography as well as the Palestinian people’s right to their homeland, and [is] a failed attempt to tamper with the memory of Palestinians and Arabs as well as the world,” it added.

But on Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Google hasn't changed its labeling of the region and that the search results are the same now as five months ago, where the word “Palestine” does not appear on a map.

Google, according to the newspaper, says the complaints against them are baseless.

"We have never had a 'Palestine' label on Google maps," the company told The Washington Post, adding it did find a bug that has deleted the term “West Bank and Gaza Strip” which it is working to restore.

Google has in the past actually come under fire from the other side, for example when it indicated that communities in Gush Etzion were actually located in “Palestine”.

In another instance, Google said the Gush Etzion communities were in Jordan.

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