Jerusalem light rail stabber declared fit for trial

Shin Bet: Suicidal suspect had history of mental illness, wanted to be shot dead by soldier.

April 19, 2017 14:24
1 minute read.

Scene of stabbing attack on Jerusalem light rail in which British student Hannah Bladon was killed , on April 14, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)

Scene of stabbing attack on Jerusalem light rail in which British student Hannah Bladon was killed , on April 14, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)

Jamil Tamimi, the Palestinian east Jerusalem resident who stabbed British exchange student Hannah Bladon to death on the Jerusalem light rail last Friday, on Tuesday night was declared fit to stand trial by a court-appointed psychiatrist.

Questions arose over Tamimi’s mental competence after the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) determined he once attempted suicide by swallowing a razor blade and was repeatedly hospitalized for suicidal and violent tendencies.

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According to the Shin Bet investigation, Tamimi, 57, a father of four, was discharged the day before the murder following a 24-hour stay at an unidentified psychiatric facility for violent activity against patients and staff.

After repeatedly stabbing Bladon, 20, with a knife on the tram as it passed the Old City, Tamimi was immediately apprehended by a police officer.

He later told the Shin Bet he carried out the murder hoping to be shot dead by a soldier.

Bladon had reportedly ceded her seat to a pregnant woman moments before she was killed.

The ruling on Tamimi’s sanity was made following a comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist for the Jerusalem District Branch of the State Prosecutor’s Office.

Israeli media reported that Tamimi was convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting his daughter. He reportedly told investigators he “had nothing to lose” when he was released from the hospital last week and that no one in his family wanted to see him.

Bladon, who was majoring in religion, theology and archeology at Birmingham University in England, was an exchange student at the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School. Hours before she was killed, she took part in an archeological dig under the Old City.

Following her death, her family issued a statement noting the devastation her murder caused them.

“Hannah was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for,” her parents said. “Our family is devastated by this senseless and tragic attack.”

Tamimi remains in custody after a judge remanded him for 10 days shortly after Bladon’s murder.

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