Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has overruled hardline National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and delayed the continuation of work on a wind turbine project that sparked riots among the Druze community, Hebrew media reports.
Netanyahu informs Druze leaders that the work will be delayed by a further month while a committee is established to examine the issue.
Ben Gvir had previously agreed that the work be halted until the end of this week’s Eid al-Adha, a holiday marked by both Muslims and Druze. However, he vowed work would start immediately after.
Thousands of Druze residents of the Golan Heights protested and rioted last week against the construction of the wind farm near the town of Majdal Shams, burning tires and hurling rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at massive police forces securing the area.
The plan has angered Druze villagers who see the project as a threat to their agrarian way of life, an encroachment on ancestral lands and a solidification of what they view as Israel’s occupation of the territory.