As Israel abandoned its ground offensive on Gaza this morning, Google apparently abandoned a controversial game available in their mobile app store called ‘Bomb Gaza.’ The game required players to kill cartoon characters in Gaza streets by doing exactly what the title implies, and was reportedly removed from Google Play sometime between Monday and Tuesday morning.
According to The Guardian, the app was downloaded about 1,000 times since it became available to Android phone and tablet users on July 29, and developers at PLAYFTW said they recently “improved” the game to include “Israel’s theme music.” TIME Magazine reported that users played as the Israeli Air Force, targeting characters and children as they ran for cover.
Google representatives seem to have little to say about the game, telling multiple media outlets: “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.” They did not specify which policy ‘Bomb Gaza’ violated, but Google’s Developer Program Policies states that “depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed” and that they “don’t allow content advocating against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.”
The game was not the only one of its kind available in the store: ‘Gaza Assault’ also required users to drop bombs on digital Palestinians while ‘Whack the Hamas’ featured Hamas members popping out of tunnels to be killed by players. Both have also been pulled from Google Play.
The Israel-Hamas cease-fire began at 8 a.m. Tuesday to allow for talks of a long-term truce. The conflict has killed almost 1,900 Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children, and 67 Israelis, most of whom were soldiers.