Israel and Hamas may have started a 72-hour cease-fire Tuesday morning, but on the Internet the conflict carried on over a group of games about the fighting — with one in particular standing out. (Via Getty Images)
"Bomb Gaza simulates Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, inviting users to drop bombs and avoid killing citizens." (Via Fox News)
The game sparked outrage among commenters on the Google Play store, who said it trivializes a conflict that has left Palestinian deaths nearing 2,000. (Via CNN)
Many outlets have reached out to the game's developer for comment without success, but BuzzFeed notes his email address "suggests he is an Israeli."
We should note, though, BuzzFeed doesn't specify why — and we haven't seen the email address associated with the developer.
If you go look for the game on Google Play, you won't find it, and that's because the game has been pulled.
The Guardian reports the game was released on July 29 and got up to 1,000 downloads before being taken down. Before it went down, "Many comments on the game's review section expressed outrage that the game was given a platform by Google, though some also defended Israeli positions."h
Google's reason for removing it: "The Reid Report reached out to Google for a comment, who said quote, 'We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.'" (Via MSNBC)
Which is the same not-very-informative statement Google released to many outlets seeking comment. But that doesn't really explain how the app got on the Google Play store in the first place and has some criticizing Google's screening process.
And that's not a new criticism, as Google Play's hosting of virus-carrying malware has made headlines before, with one scam app that topped charts in April getting as many as 10,000 downloads. (Via ZDNet,Greenbot)
In the past, Google's critics have said the company doesn't sufficiently vet the apps it hosts compared to the apps on Apple's store, which each need Apple approval.
And if you search the Google Play app for the word "Gaza," you'll still find dozens of results, including a game that has you tap Israeli soldiers to turn them into food and supplies and a game where you shoot rockets out of the sky before they hit a city. (Via Google)
Meanwhile on the ground in Gaza, Israeli troops have pulled out of the strip in accordance with the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.