Google has removed Bomb Gaza apps from the Android Google Play store after public outrage. The apps which simulate Israeli air strikes on Gaza, were pulled after angry users took to Twitter to criticize Google for allowing the apps in its Play Store.
"Bomb Gaza," developed by PlayFTW, simulates the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas. Players drop bombs from a fighter jets while avoiding hitting civilians and dodging missiles from Hamas fighters in black and green masks. The game ends when too many civilians were killed, and the "rage meter" reaches its limit. The game was released on July 29 was downloaded more than 1000 times since its release.
The second game called, Gaza Assault: Code Red, was released on July 17 on the Google play store, allowed players to target terrorist cells hidden within Gaza. That game urged players to "take control of an Israeli UAV equipped with powerful weapons in an attempt to secure the region!" The games were live on the Play Store for more than a week before Google took them down, supposedly after receiving a number of complaints on social media sites.
"Utterly shameful. Real people, many of them children, are dying in Gaza. Many of those who haven’t been killed face life with debilitating injuries, bereavement and without homes. Their suffering is as real as yours or mine, and to make light of it like this speaks of your essential failure as a human. Shame on the creators of this game, and those who ‘play’ it," read one comment by user George Coote.
A spokesperson for Google stated, "We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies." Google's Developer Program Policies prohibit both violence, bullying and hate speech.
Other games like "Iron Dome" and "Hamas Rockets", which also imitate the ongoing conflict between the nation remains active on the Google app store.