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Apple pulls Palestinian Intifada iPhone app

Apple has come under fire for dumping a pro-Palestinian iPhone app from its iTunes store, after Israel complained that it incited violence against the Jewish state.

ThirdIntifada, an Arabic language app released last week, provided updates on forthcoming anti-Israel protests, plus links to Palestinian nationalist sites. Israel's public diplomacy minister Yuli Edelstein called the app "anti-Israel and anti-Zionist".

Pro-Palestinian groups have slammed Apple's decision to pull the app, arguing that the term Intifada - which literally means "to shake off" - does not amount to a call to violence. The term has been used to describe campaigns of civil disobedience and later violence against Israel's 44-year occupation.

Writing in a blog on the New Statesman website, journalist Emmanuelle Degli Esposti called Apple's decision to release the app in the first place, "not the smartest move the company has ever made" - but said that pulling it after Israeli pressure raised, "questions about Apple's political entanglements, and the extent of Israeli influence".

Israel recently convinced Facebook to take down a 'Third Intifada' page on the social networking site, after a personal appeal to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The page had attracted more than 350,000 fans.

Israel fears that violence in the occupied territories may be renewed if a Palestinian bid for independent statehood in September fails.

Apple has previously caved in to pressure over a number of apps in the iTunes store, including a WikiLeaks donation app, plus an app created by a Christian group that claimed to 'cure' homosexuality.