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Israel’s Netanyahu briefly freezes Golan wind turbine project that set off rare clashes

Israel’s Netanyahu briefly freezes Golan wind turbine project that set off rare clashes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a brief freeze in construction on a wind turbine project in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights that set off a rare clash between Druze residents and police.

Netanyahu said late Saturday he agreed to a pause on the project during this week’s Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which is meant to allow time for talks to defuse the crisis. The project is expected to resume next week. A statement from Netanyahu’s office said he made the decision based on advice from security officials.

The Druze oppose the plan, which would install more than two dozen 200-meter (660-foot) tall turbines throughout their land. The landowners said the turbines will harm their agricultural output and that the energy company behind the project didn’t consult with them in good faith, a claim the company denies.

Last week, thousands of residents demonstrated against the project, storming a police station, throwing stones and fireworks, setting tires on fire, vandalizing police cars, blocking roads and even shooting live fire into the air, according to police.

  • June 25, 2023