Google under fire for hosting of ‘Bomb Gaza’ game
Internet giant Google is under fire for a game published on the app store of its mobile platform Android, where players are tasked with dropping bombs on a two-dimensional representation of the Palestinian-controlled territory.
The game involves piloting an Israeli air-force jet over Gaza and attempting to bomb cartoon Hamas militants, which are usually located in the same buildings of smiling civilians, many of which appear to be holding children.
The game, which was released late last month, had been installed around 1,000 times. On Monday, the game is no longer listed on Google Play, the firm’s application store.
In reviews of the game posted by users, some expressed “disgust” at its content.
“This is a violation of human rights. My brothers and sisters are dying in Gaza,” wrote one user.
“Please take this off the play store. It is offensive,” wrote another.
After the game was unavailable, some took to microblogging site Twitter to voice their distaste.
“Whoever made this, is obviously failing being human,” wrote one Twitter user.
According to Google’s terms and conditions for Google Play content, “depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed.”
Google will issue a response shortly to the controversy over the game, online publication the International Business Times reported.
‘Whack the Hamasites’
The Gaza conflict, which is now in its 28th day, has led to the deaths of almost 1,800 Palestinians. Israel says it will continue its offensive until it has completed its mission of destroying Hamas-built tunnels used to launch attacks into its borders.
Inspired by the conflict, several other games have been uploaded onto Google Play over the last month.
“Israel Under Attack,” which was still available as of Monday, asks players: “Israel is under attack. Can you help fight against the Hamas militants?”
Another game, entitled “Whack the Hamas,” tasks players with destroying bandanna-wearing Hamas militants emerging from tunnels in Israel.
“The Hamasites [sic] are coming out of their tunnels. Don’t let them escape, otherwise they will hurt innocent civilians!” the game’s description reads.
Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told The Telegraph that such games were in “glorify the horror and violence of the bombing of Gaza, sanitising for a younger generation what is a dreadful conflict that has killed thousands and decimated the lives of hundreds of thousands.”
“It raises serious questions of Google’s ethical standards if these games remain hosted on its platforms,” Doyle added.