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May 23, 2013 8:09 am

Google Redirects Gush Etzion Residents to Palestinian Handle for Searches

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In the top, right corner, Google offers Gush Etzion residents the option of searching via "Google Palestine." Photo: Israel Hayom screenshot.

Residents of the Gush Etzion community located in Judea and Samaria near Jerusalem were recently shocked recently to see that, according to Google, they live in “Palestine.”

While trying to perform Google searches, Gush Etzion residents found that the search engine has been redirecting them to, the Palestinian handle, instead of, as the rest of Google users in Israel are directed to.

“It’s unfortunate that the Google company, which is a business entity and not a political body, has decided that the residents of Judea and Samaria belong to the Palestinian Authority,” wrote Director-General of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel Nahi Eyal in a letter to Google. “We are calling on you to remove this kind of proclamation.”

Google spokesperson Nathan Tyler clarified that Google Israel—the company has offices in Tel Aviv and Haifa—had not decided to include the Gush Etzion community in the Palestinian territories region, adding that the search engine aimed to provide the “best experience” for all of its users.

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