June 21, 2023, Golan Heights, Israel — Over a thousand Druze citizens, located in the occupied Syrian region of the Golan Heights in Israel, showed up to protest a planned Israeli wind farm. The protest quickly turned violent, with protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at police. According to various Israeli and Arabic media sources, some protestors were seriously injured, and more than a dozen police officers suffered injuries as well. Israeli police used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets against the protestors.
According to police, protestors also showed up at the local police station and tried to “take over it using live fire, throwing stones and shooting fireworks.”
The Golan Heights region is mostly agricultural land, and protestors are concerned that the introduction of large scale wind turbines will devastate their farms and destroy their way of life, as well as create an environmental hazard. The protesters also accused the Israeli government of ignoring their concerns when giving the green light to the industrial wind project.
This was not the first attempt to start installation of the turbines. In December of 2020, the project also met with resistance, where locals called the industrial wind project a “declaration of war” on their villages.
The Golan Heights was captured from Syria during the 1967 war and later annexed, a move that to this day is not recognized by most world powers. Despite this, until now, the Druze citizens of Golan Heights have mostly had a peaceful relationship with their Israeli occupiers.