- Title: MIDEAST: Apple removes Intifada app after Israeli request
- Date: 24th June 2011
- Summary: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (JUNE 22, 2011) (REUTERS) MAN SITTING AT DESK USING APPLE IPAD MAN ENTERING THIRD INTIFADA APPLICATION APP ON IPAD VARIOUS OF APPLICATION
- Embargoed: 9th July 2011 13:00
- Location: Israel
- Country: Israel
- Topics: International Relations,Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA2DTDAJ4ZV9SEMLOJZD8INBLNV
- Story Text: Apple Inc. removed an Arabic-language application from its iTunes store that called for a Palestinian uprising at Israel's request, an Israeli government statement said on Thursday (June 23).
Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli-Yoel Edelstein wrote to Apple on Tuesday (June 21), complaining that the "ThirdIntifada" application -- a reference to a future uprising -- conveyed information about protests, some violent, planned against Israel.
A statement issued by Edelstein's ministry on Thursday welcomed "Apple's swift action" in removing the application and praised the company's decision as another important step in preventing violent incitement in the new media.
"The third Intifada application from Apple was brought to my attention yesterday and after I consulted with specialists in the Arabic language, they said loud and clear that it was full of incitement, calls to violence, military strikes on Israel - things of that kind and I decided to write to Apple, to the owners, basically asking them to remove this application," Edelstein told Reuters Television from his office in Jerusalem before Apple Inc. removed the application.
Edelstein said the developers of the application had opened a similar page on Facebook three months ago that called for an uprising against Israel through the use of lethal force.
Facebook confirmed last March it removed the "Third Intifada" page. Following a lobby by Edelstein, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg approved the removal of the page.
Many iPhone holders in downtown East Jerusalem had not heard of the controversial application, but those who had, like twenty-two-year old Tamer Izhiman, said that the application served to provide local news, and not incite violence.
"It means liberty, not terrorism, of course, that is the meaning of the word Intifada. We are using this application to read the news, and what is happening in the country, not to conspire to launch a war," Izhiman said from a local coffee shop.
The Arabic-language application, developed by a Dubai-based company, was released on June 15, and was available for free download from iTunes.
The application offered users a stream of news stories and editorials in Arabic, announced upcoming protests, and included links to nationalistic Palestinian videos and songs.
Israel has faced two massive protests in recent months that turned deadly when Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon, spurred on by calls over the internet, tried to breach its borders.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the creation of the Apple application and the Facebook page marked a new pattern in attempts to incite against Israel.
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