The picturesque Yerushalayim neighborhood of Abu Tor looks less like a travel poster and more like a war zone these days.
The mixed Jewish, Arab and Christian neighborhood has become a target for rock-throwers, vandals and arsonists, and residents now live in an atmosphere of fear and anxiety.
Every night since the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir on July 2, riot and disorder has invaded the previously peaceful nieghborhood.
“They come out late at night, usually after 1:30 a.m., and shoot bullets into the air, throw Molotov cocktails at cars and rocks at homes, and it’s sad because there are very good people here,” Bonnie Brooks lamented to The Jerusalem Post.
“And look, you see how beautiful it is? I was looking at an apartment in this building to rent just two weeks ago!” she said.
“You couldn’t pay me to live here now.” Brooks came to live in Israel from Connecticut five years ago and lives in a building only a few hundred yards from the trouble spot.
“My apartment has been a target since I’ve moved here,” said Korson, an Abu Tor resident. “My car’s windows have been shattered four times, the tires slashed and stones are regularly thrown at my apartment.
“I had a neighbor who couldn’t handle it anymore, had a nervous breakdown and moved out.”
They had no complaints about the police, however.
“The police have been great,” said Korson. “Generally, they’re here within minutes,” adding that undercover police are assigned their during the day.
But it’s not enough, and the feeling is desperate.
“I keep a baseball bat by the door and weapons hidden throughout the house, and have a tent on the balcony to protect us from the rocks,” he said. “My wife and kids know the escape plan.”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld acknowledged the problem, adding that extra units have been assigned to Abu Tor.