FACT CHECK: Was Palestine Removed From Google Maps?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Google has purportedly removed Palestine from Google Maps.

Verdict: False

The claim is false. Palestine has never been labeled on Google Maps, a Google spokesperson told The Guardian in 2016.

Fact Check:

Israeli tanks have moved into Gaza City’s Shujayea neighborhood, prompting Palestinians to flee, according to Al Jazeera, who cited Reuters. In the past 24 hours, “47 Palestinians were killed and 52 [were] wounded,” the Gaza Ministry of Health said, the outlet indicated.

The Facebook post claims Google has purportedly removed Palestine from Google Maps. “Google removed Palestine from maps and renamed it Israel,” the post’s caption reads. The post features an image from Google Maps where Israel and the Gaza Strip are clearly labeled, but Palestine is not.

The claim is false. Back in 2016, Google was accused of deleting Palestine from Google Maps, according to The Guardian. In responding to the accusation, a Google spokesperson told the outlet that “there has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps.”

Likewise, the outlet indicated, “when searching for Palestine on Google Maps, it shows an outline, but with no label for Palestine and Israel labelled alongside it,” while also highlighting the fact that the “U.S. and much of the west” do not recognize Palestine as an “independent state” in contrast to 136 United Nations members. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Netanyahu Watching Hezbollah Leader’s Speech)

While conducting a search of Google Maps, Check Your Fact did not find a specific label for Palestine, only labels for Gaza, Tel Aviv-Yafo, and Jerusalem.

In addition, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to support the claim made via the Facebook post. Actually, the opposite is true. On June 27, The Quint debunked the claim. A spokesperson for Google told the outlet that “due to the absence of a unified agreement among global authorities regarding the territorial boundaries of Palestine, they are unable to accurately outline and tag its borders on Google Maps.”

Furthermore, Google has not issued a statement on its website or its verified social media accounts responding to the claim.

Check Your Fact has contacted Google for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter