By Ma’an News Agency – 14 Aug 2009
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Google unveiled its newest URL on Thursday, www.google.ps, a specific domain for residents of the occupied Palestinian territories, with the exception of East Jerusalem.
“The new domain will give Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories, who use Palestinian ISPs, access to Google in Arabic and eventually, access to more locally relevant content,” the company said on its Arabia blog.
Aside from East Jerusalem, which falls under de facto Israeli authority, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have generally relied on www.google.jo, Jordan’s domain, and Egypt’s www.google.com.eg, respectively.
“Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories have had to visit foreign domains in order to search in Arabic,” the company added, noting that the new URL would be designed for Palestine-specific search results.
Google said that starting Thursday, new searches would automatically redirect to the .ps domain, at which the user can select Arabic or English, but that “any user can type in any Google domain they prefer to go.”
“With the launch of google.ps, we bring the total number of Google domains worldwide to more than 160,” the blog post added, on the same day Google said it would launch more domains in Africa, as well.
IOA Editor: Not surprisingly, we’re not hearing about Google filing a protest with Israel about disallowing East Jerusalem residents from using its new Palestinian service as a default.
A google.ps search on Israeli occupation results in the IOA website coming up 2nd place, after Wikipedia, as opposed to 3rd place (excluding Google’s own categories), usually, on google.com – not that Palestinians under occupation need either Google or the IOA to understand the meaning of the Occupation.