Compromise Reached on Negev Tree-Planting

YERUSHALAYIM -
Police officers guard outside the Bedouin village of Mulada, in the Negev desert, southern Israel, Wednesday, during the planting of new trees. (Flash90)

The minister in charge of regulating Bedouin settlements announced on Wednesday that a compromise was reached to halt the tree-planting program that sparked two days of violent demonstrations and threatened to shatter the coalition.

Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) said that the KKL forestry program will stop planting trees in the Negev desert region and the parties will convene on an accelerated basis to work out a plan for regulating the activity.

The announcement comes after a second day of protests by local Bedouins against the tree-planting program.

Police made 11 arrests during clashes Wednesday morning, as the tree-planting resumed amid heavy security.