British student killed in Jerusalem stabbing attack mourned

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The British woman stabbed to death in an attack on the Jerusalem light rail was mourned by Israeli institutions at which she had studied and volunteered.

Hannah Bladon, a student in her early 20s, was killed on Friday after being stabbed multiple times by a Palestinian assailant.

The Hebrew University and the Rothberg International School in a statement issued Saturday night expressed “our deep sorrow” over Bladon’s murder. The schools extended “deepest condolences” to her family.

Bladon was in Israel as part of a student exchange program with Hebrew as part of her course of studies in religion, theology and archaeology at the University of Birmingham. She arrived in Israel in January.

The Israel Antiquities Authority also offered its condolences to the Bladon family, saying in a statement that Hannah had recently volunteered in its excavation at Wilson’s Arch in the Western Wall tunnels and was supposed to return to the excavation after Passover. She reportedly was returning home from an archeological dig when she was killed.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Saturday that Bladon was standing next to the assailant because she had given up her seat further back on the train to allow a woman holding a baby to sit down.

The Palestinian stabber, Jamil Tamimi, 57, of the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, reportedly told investigators that he stabbed Bladon because he wanted the soldier standing next to her to kill him. Tamimi reportedly is mentally ill and had recently tried to commit suicide.

The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, said of the stabber in a statement: “This is not the first time that a Palestinian suffering from personal, mental or moral distress has chosen to commit a terrorist attack in order to escape his problems.”

The Bladon family in a statement issued on Saturday, said that Hannah “was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for.”

“She was driven and passionate and her death leaves so much promise unfulfilled. Our family are devastated by this senseless and tragic attack.”

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