Middle East

Apple removes 'offensive' Intifada application

A Palestinian youth pelts Israeli soldiers with stones during clashes outside the West Bank town of Ramallah in Dec 1998.
Image caption The application, called ThirdIntifada, was said to incite violence against Israel

Computer firm Apple has removed an Arabic-language application from its App Store called ThirdIntifada, after Israel said it incited violence.

"We removed this app from the App Store because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," Apple said.

The app was released a few days ago.

It listed forthcoming protests and provided news reports and editorials in Arabic, as well as including links to nationalistic Palestinian material.

Intifada refers to two violent uprisings against Israel over the past three decades, and a third intifada refers to a future uprising.

An Israeli minister wrote to Apple earlier this week to complain about the application.

"From browsing through the articles, stories and photographs that appear in the app, it is clear that this is an anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist application that in fact, as its name suggests, calls for an uprising against Israel," said Israeli Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora Yuli Edelstein in a letter sent to Apple founder Steve Jobs.

A statement issued by Mr Edelstein's ministry on Thursday welcomed "Apple's swift action" in removing the application, developed by a Dubai-based company.

Facebook precedent

In March this year, Facebook removed a page calling for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel after more than 350,000 people signed up to it.

Mr Edelstein said the Facebook page had been created by the same group behind the new application, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

"The Facebook page called for an uprising against Israel through a violent struggle, and included severe incitement."

In the ministry statement announcing Apple's move, Mr Edelstein was quoted as saying the company, like Facebook, "had proven it shared values that stand in opposition to violence, incitement and terror".

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