Two Israeli soldiers reportedly entered an area bordering a Palestinian refugee camp by accident on Monday, which prompted a rescue mission that ultimately led to gunfire and the death of at least one Palestinian man. Following the clash, which occurred between Jerusalem and Ramallah, reports blamed the Google-owned navigation app Waze for misdirecting the two soldiers.
“I have always said that even if you use a navigation program, you still need to know how to navigate a map,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a speech following the incident, Reuters reported.
Waze, which launched in 2006 as a free Israel map digital database, denied the accusation, blaming user interference.
“The Waze application includes a specific default setting that prevents routes through areas which are marked as dangerous or prohibited for Israelis to drive through. In this case, the setting was disabled,” Waze spokesperson Julie Mossler said in a email to FORBES.
Mossler added that the driver also deviated from the suggested route and ignored red signs on the road in question meant to prohibit access to the Palestinian controlled area.
“It’s the responsibility of every driver to adhere to road and traffic signs and obey local laws—in this incident there were multiple layers of prevention in place,” she continued. “Waze has and is continuing to work directly with the relevant authorities to decrease such mishaps from occurring, but unfortunately there is no ability to prevent them all together as ultimately some prudence is in the driver’s hands.”
Iyad Sajadiyya, 22, was shot and killed and others were injured in the resulting fight when Israeli military attempted to reclaim the vehicle abandoned by the lost soldiers, according to several reports. The violent incident comes amid heightened conflict in the West Bank.
Google purchased Waze in 2013, for a $1.3 billion.
This article was written by Abigail Tracy from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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