MIDDLE EAST

Google removes Bomb Gaza game from its app store after outcry

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 9:22pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 9:22pm

A mobile game that simulates Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and invites users to "drop bombs and avoid killing civilians" has been pulled from Google's app store, a company spokesman said after a public backlash.

Bomb Gaza, developed by PlayFTW and still available as an app on Facebook, simulates the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas. Players drop bombs from a fighter jet while dodging missiles from Hamas fighters in black and green masks.

"We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies," a spokesman for Google said, confirming that the game had been removed from the app store. Google did not specify which policy the game had violated. It has rules that prohibit content that amounts to hate speech, bullying and violence and lets users flag abusive content.

The game had been downloaded about 1,000 times since its July 29 launch, according to Britain's The Guardian.

It triggered outraged comments on the Google Play and on Facebook. "You disgust me," Saj Ishaq wrote on PlayFTW's Facebook page.

Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment and PlayFTW could not be immediately reached.

Reuters