Palestinians are using the Pokemon Go game to highlight their plight in the face of Israel’s continuing occupation, News.com.au reported yesterday.
The game, which is banned in some countries and is said to breach national security in others, has gone viral though it has not officially been released in the Middle East.
Using the smartphone app, Palestinians are highlighting life under military occupation. One user tweeted an image of Pikachu lying among rubble in a site that was destroyed down by Israeli shells in 2014 with the health status of the creature describing it as “Dead”.
— Salim Kassam (@msalimkassam) 14 July 2016
Another image being shared widely depicts a rare Charizard that’s out of reach because it’s on the other side of the illegal Separation Wall.
— Said Shoaib (@saidshouib) 13 July 2016
Facebook user Abd Elrahman Salayma, who lives in occupied Hebron in the West Bank, joked: “There is a pokémon down the street in the settlement… how the hell am i going to catch it?”
Another Twitter user commented that Israel doesn’t need the game as it already “hunts Palestinians for fun”.
Israel doesn’t need Pokemon Go, it hunts Palestinians for fun. With 99.7% conviction rate of Palestinians by Israel..gotta catch ’em all!
— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) 12 July 2016
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last week that the Israeli army issued a warning to its soldiers, telling them not to use the game on military bases, as it’s a “source for gathering information.”
In Saudi, three men were arrested after playing Pokemon Go in the airport. The men, in their 20s, are being investigated for illegally taking pictures in a restricted area.