Dozens of people demonstrated in Haifa's Hadar neighborhood on Monday and called on authorities to evict two convicted pedophiles from a local hostel, claiming they posed a threat to the neighborhood's children.
Brothers Shlomi and Oren Korido, who had previously been sent to jail for child sex offenses, currently reside in a small apartment in the hostel's courtyard, which is located near a kindergarten and playground.
"The State is allowing them to live here because the majority of the neighborhood's residents are Arab-Israeli," Hadar resident Aryeh Shukrun said. "My father has 40 grandchildren, but he hasn't seen them in six months because my sisters are afraid to bring them here, and I understand why. Who wants to take that risk? They (Korido brothers) are free to move around," he told Ynet.
"I am not judging them; they are sick people in need of rehabilitation, but I do not want my kids to get hurt," Shukrun said.
Protestors outside hostel (Photo: Avital She'ar Yeshuv)
Another neighbor, Yosef Abu Aziza, said his son was chased by one of the brothers with a knife a few weeks ago. "If he would have laid a hand on my son, I'm telling you, he would be dead. You can't expect a father not to protect his son. They have to leave the neighborhood," he said.
Residents warned that if authorities do not address the matter they will take the law into their own hands. "We want the City, the police or the Health Ministry to take them away from here to a place where they can receive the treatment they need. We are protesting so that we won't have to resort to violence," one of the residents said.
The rally was held outside the hostel.
Haifa Police chief Ahuva Tomer said, "All we can do is protect the neighborhood's children by boosting security. The brothers have served their time, and as long as they don’t commit a criminal offense our hands are tied."
However, Tomer mentioned a recent incident that may be indicative of the brothers' intent to sexually assault more children. "Two weeks ago a local couple told police that their son was given 600 shekels ($160). When they asked him where he got the money, he said the pedophile brothers gave it to him when he introduced himself to them. They let him play with their dogs and gave him the money. This is how they are laying the groundwork for the next attacks, but at this stage their conduct does not constitute a crime," said the Haifa Police chief.
The Korido brothers told Ynet that they have been rehabilitated and are victims of the neighborhood residents' violence. "Just last Thursday, as we were walking to the market, someone struck us in the head with an umbrella," Oren claimed.
"We are tired of being treated in this manner. We don’t hurt anyone," he said.
In an act of desperation, Oren tried to hang himself last week, but the tree branch he tied the rope to snapped. He was evacuated to the hospital with injuries to his neck.
Tali Libman, a reporter for Yedioth Haifa, said, "The issue is not where the brothers live. Today they are here, tomorrow they can live in another neighborhood or city. But the situation won't change because no one is treating them.
"They are in need of psychiatric treatment and constant supervision. They are mentally ill, and must be cared for by the relevant authorities," she said, "The current situation is a time bomb, but no one is taking on the responsibility to defuse it."