Google has officially recognized Palestine.
The search engine giant has changed “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine” in its title page for the region.
The switch comes after the United Nations voted overwhelmingly last year to recognize Palestine as a non-member state.
“We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products,” Google spokesman Nathan Tyler confirmed to the BBC. “We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the U.N., ICANN [the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organization for Standardization] and other international organizations.”
The governing Palestinian Authority hailed Google’s decision.
“This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories,” Palestinian presidential adviser Sabri Saidam told the BBC.
Saidam said the Palestinian Authority petitioned international companies, including Google, to change their name in the wake of the U.N. vote.
“Most of the traffic that happens now happens in the virtual world and this means putting Palestine on the virtual map as well as on the geographic maps,” he said.