Ignoring Israel’s long-standing opposition to the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, Google.ps, the website formerly known as “Google Palestinian Territories,” was re-christened “Google Palestine” on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Israeli government said:

“This change raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private internet company in international politics—and on the controversial side.”

On the other hand, the decision has been warmly accepted by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

 “This is a virtual victory for Palestine – a step in the right direction that has to be followed by others, including Google Maps and Google Earth.”

Other authorities recognizing the “Palestine” label include the United Nations, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and the International Standards Organization. The UN upgraded Palestine to a “non-member observer state” in November. Previously it had been a mere “non-member observer entity.”

Sources: BBC