There have been recent reports circulating on news websites and social media accounts, showing a screenshot from the Chinese map application Petal Map. Those sharing the screenshot claim that the application has completely removed the name "Israel" from its digital maps and replaced it with "Palestine."
Petal Maps Displays Both Israel and Palestine on Its Maps
The maps in the Petal Maps application display the name of the state of Palestine within the West Bank, which is governed by the Palestinian Authority, as well as the Gaza Strip. The borders are delineated with disconnected lines to indicate that the area is disputed. The map also displays the name of Israel on the remaining occupied Palestinian territories.
The Map Was Shared With Another Claim on October 19
Misbar found that the screenshot of the map has been circulating since October 19, with a claim alleging that it shows Google Maps deleting the name of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
Misbar has investigated this claim and found it to be inaccurate. When searching for a country like Egypt, for example, one cannot see the name of the Sinai Peninsula, but only the names of some major cities within the country.
However, if you search for a specific area, only the results for that area will appear, similar to "Sinai Peninsula," which will show the entire area with names of cities, villages, and its specific administrative layout.
How Does Petal Maps Differ From Google Maps in Defining Palestine?
Petal Maps defines "Palestine," as the area that includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As for Google Maps, it does not display the label "Palestine" but rather outlines it with dashed lines without a label. In August 2016, users criticized the absence of the label "Palestine" and the failure to include the West Bank and Gaza Strip as its associated regions.
At that time, Google responded by stating that the name "Palestine" had not been included in its maps before and that the regions of the West Bank and Gaza were removed due to a technical issue. According to Google Maps today, both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are displayed with their respective names.
What is Petal Maps?
Petal Maps, developed by the Chinese company Huawei in 2020, is a navigation and mapping application that offers travelers an alternative way to explore places.
The app provides location services, map displays, place search functions, turn-by-turn navigation, and user-favorited lists in more than 140 countries and regions, supported by up to 70 languages.
The Wall Street Journal Says That Israel Is Not on Chinese Maps
The circulating claims come after The Wall Street Journal published an article on the first of November, stating that the name Israel is not present on leading online digital maps for the Chinese applications Baidu Maps and Alibaba Maps.
The newspaper explained that Baidu's online maps in the Chinese language do display internationally recognized borders for Israel, as well as Palestinian territories and major cities, but they do not clearly label the state by name. The same applies to electronic maps produced by Amap, a subsidiary of Alibaba.
The newspaper mentioned that it contacted the two companies regarding the matter but did not receive a response.
Upon examining Baidu Maps, Misbar found that it does not mention Israel or Palestine. When zoomed in, some cities, such as Jerusalem, appear.
Continuation of the Aggression on Gaza
The image was circulated in response to the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza and the West Bank, following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which was initiated by the Al-Qassam Brigades on October 7.
In the latest developments, Al-Qassam Brigades announced on Wednesday, November 1, the destruction of an Israeli vehicle that infiltrated the eastern part of the Al-Zeitoun neighborhood in the southeast of Gaza City with a "Yassin 105" shell.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesperson for Al-Qassam Brigades, also stated yesterday that a significant number of Israeli soldiers had been killed, and 22 Israeli military vehicles had been destroyed since the start of the ground invasion carried out by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza. He noted that the naval forces targeted naval objectives off the Gaza coast with the "Al-Asef" torpedo.
The Israeli army has acknowledged the death of 16 soldiers thus far in the incursion in northern Gaza. Israeli Minister of Security, Yuav Galant, described the killing of Israeli soldiers in Gaza as a "severe and painful blow," despite his claim of significant achievements by the Israeli army.
According to the latest statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the death toll from the Israeli aggression since October 7 of the previous year has risen to 8,720 martyrs and over 22,000 wounded in Gaza, in addition to 130 martyrs and 2,100 wounded in the West Bank.