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Israel-Palestine war: Google reinstates app that helps boycott Israel-linked companies

Google has reinstated a mobile app designed to help people boycott companies linked to Israel, days after it was removed from its Play store
The App, No Thanks, was designed to help people identify products linked to Israel.
The No Thanks app was designed to help people identify products linked to Israel (MEE/Imran Mulla)

Google has reinstated a popular mobile phone app designed to help people boycott companies linked to Israel, days after it was removed from its Play store. 

The No Thanks app allows users to scan the barcodes of products or enter their name to find out if the item is linked to Israel.

According to developers, the app was removed because a sentence in the description read: "Welcome to No Thanks, here you can see if the product in your hand supports killing children in Palestine or not."

On 3 December, Google reinstated the app to its Play Store with a new description reading: "Our app simplifies the process of scanning barcodes and searching for products that are listed for the boycott movement."

Launched on 13 November, No Thanks was downloaded over 100,000 times before it was removed from Play store on 30 November.

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However, since it was reinstated, users have reported being unable to find the app when they search for it on the  store.

Middle East Eye approached Google for comment but did not receive a comment by time of publication.

No Thanks has used the websites Boycotzionism and Ulastempat to compile a list of companies that allegedly have links to Israel.

A video circulating on social media depicts a customer scanning a can of Coca Cola while using the app, which says the product "is supporting Israel".

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According to No Thanks, the app was developed by Ahmed Bashbash, who lives in Hungary and describes himself as a Palestinian from Gaza. 

Bashbash told DW News that he lost his brother "in this massacre" - and that his sister died in 2020 because she was deprived of medical support.

"I made it [the app] 0n behalf of my brother and my sister who I lost because of this brutal occupation, and my goal is to try to prevent what happened to me to happen to another Palestinian," he told the German broadcaster.

According to No Thanks, a version designed for Apple products has been developed and is currently under review.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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