Affluent neighborhood too dangerous for youths

In recent weeks there have been several attempted rapes of teenage girls in broad daylight and mobile phones have been stolen at knife-point.

knife 88 (photo credit:)
knife 88
(photo credit: )
Haifa's most expensive area, the central Carmel, has become a center for violence and theft, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Haifa. In recent weeks there have been several attempted rapes of teenage girls in broad daylight, mobile phones have been stolen at knife-point from students on their way home from school, and drunken youths have begun fights with others. According to the report, Gan Ha'em in the center of the Carmel is a gathering site for youths at all hours of the day and night, who drink alcohol, use drugs, and provoke violence against innocent youths passing through the area on their way to places of entertainment. Knesset member Moshe Kahlon said it was "insufferable" that teenagers could not go out in the Carmel without being exposed to violence. He called on the Interior Ministry, the municipality and the police to increase their presence in areas known for their violence. "The residents of Haifa have the right to send their children out to enjoy themselves without fearing that something will happen to them," Kahlon said. But Haifa police chief Dudu Ben-Atia said the police youth unit regularly patrolled places where young people gathered at weekends, and over the past year had arrested many suspects. He said there had actually been a dramatic drop in crime in the area and he would "not call the current situation a phenomenon in any way."