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In a latest development, the Israeli military is warning its soldiers about a new threat about the game Pokemon Go. The army said that it has banned its forces from playing the game on Israeli military bases due to security concerns. In a directive to soldiers and officers, the army warned the game activates cell phone cameras and location services, and could leak sensitive information like army base locations and photographs of the bases.
The military is also concerned that soldiers could download a fake application that impersonates Pokemon Go but could leak information from soldiers’ phones. Pokemon Go players roam streets and buildings holding up their mobile phones and following a digital map to catch creatures that appear on the screen. Israeli civilians are also being warned about the perils of chasing Pikachu and other digital critters in the game.
The Israel Cancer Association has advised players not to go outdoors to catch Pokemon creatures in the middle of the day to avoid excessive sun exposure, and other tips to protect oneself from the sun’s rays.
The AIG insurance company in Israel is taking advantage of the Pokemon craze to market its personal accident insurance policy that covers accidents caused while playing such mobile phone games. Yifat Reiter of AIG said the company has received dozens of inquiries about the accident insurance for Pokemon players.
Israel’s emergency rescue service Magen David Adom said distracted Pokemon players have suffered moderate injuries.
For Palestinians, “Pokemon Go” is a frustrating game to play, because mobile high-speed internet services don’t exist in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under interim peace accords, Israel controls wireless networks in the area, and Israel only recently announced that it would allow high-speed internet access in the West Bank, though the technology has not yet gone into effect.