Google, the internet giant, has officially recognized the name Palestine in its search engine, thus showing the name Palestine instead of “The Palestinian Territories”.Google spokesperson, Nathan Tyler, stated that Google will be changing the name to Palestine across all of its products.
On May 1, Google changed its page, accessed in the Palestinian territories to Google Palestine, using the PS domain for Palestine. www.google.ps
The BBC reported that Tyler told it that Google always consults different sources and authorities when naming countries, and added Google consulted the United Nations, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (Icann), the International Organization for Standardization, and many other international agencies.
Commenting on the move, Dr. Sabri Saidam, an adviser to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, told the BBC that the decision is a timely and positive move, and added the internet is an important element in the world.
“This means we will be putting Palestine on the virtual map, not only on geographical maps”, he told the BBC.
Saidam further stated that, after Palestine was voted in as a nonmember state at the United Nations General Assembly, on November of 2012, the Palestinian Authority started a campaign by contacting different international companies, including Google, asking them to refer to Palestine as a state.
138 countries voted for Palestine, while nine countries, including the United States and Israel, voted No, and 41 countries abstained.
Prior to the vote, Palestine was only recognized as an “observer entity” at the United Nations.
In 2011, Palestine was unable to garner a positive vote to upgrade its statues to a full member state at the UN.