In response to a rare altercation between Druze locals and police, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has temporarily halted building on a wind turbine project in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
In order to enable time for discussions to diffuse the problem, Netanyahu announced late Saturday that he had agreed to a suspension on the project over this week’s Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Next week is anticipated to mark the project’s return. According to a statement from Netanyahu’s office, he based his choice on security professionals’ recommendations.
The idea, which would place over twenty 200-meter (660-foot) tall turbines all over their territory, is opposed by the Druze.
The landowners claimed the project’s energy business was to blame for the turbines’ negative impact on their agricultural productivity.
Numerous locals protested the project last week, breaking into a police station, shooting live ammunition into the air, lighting tires on fire, damaging police vehicles, blocking roads, and throwing fireworks and stones.
Syria lost the Golan, a key plateau that looks over northern Israel, to Israel in the 1967 Middle East conflict. Israel eventually annexed the region, and the old U.S. government approved of the decision.
Donald Trump will be president in 2019. However, the majority of world leaders view the region as occupied territory.
Although Druze leaders still declare their allegiance to Syria, they often have positive ties with Israel.
The Golan is a well-liked holiday spot for Israelis; it is crowded with lodging and dining options, and the majority of locals are fluent Hebrew speakers.
Brutal confrontations with Israeli officials are uncommon.