Jerusalem light rail terrorist released from psychiatric facility day before stabbing

Shin Bet: Suspect wanted to be shot dead by soldier.

April 18, 2017 19:39
2 minute read.
Photo from the scene of terror attack on light rail in Jerusalem

Photo from the scene of terror attack on light rail in Jerusalem. (photo credit: COURTESY UNITED HATZALAH)


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A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge extended the remand of the Arab terrorist who murdered Hannah Bladon, a 20-year-old British exchange student, on the Jerusalem Light Rail on Friday, and ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

Bladon was repeatedly stabbed by Jamil Tamimi, 57, of east Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, while the tram was traveling past the Old City. She was a student at Birmingham University, and in Jerusalem as an exchange student at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School.

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At his hearing, Tamimi, who has a history of mental illness, confessed that he stabbed Bladon to death, although he contended that he “didn’t mean it,” and went on to apologize to the victim’s family. The judge extended his remand for 10 days.

According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), several weeks ago Tamimi attempted suicide by swallowing a razor at Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center in Jerusalem, and showed signs of aggression and hostility.

During questioning, Tamimi told officers that he carried out the stabbing in an effort to be shot dead by a soldier.

The Shin Bet noted that the so-called “death by cop” phenomenon is not uncommon within the Palestinian community. “This is another incident of many in which a Palestinian suffering from mental health or personal issues has chosen to carry out an attack as a way out of his problems,” the security agency said in a statement.

Walla News reported that Tamimi, a father of four, was discharged the day before the murder from an unidentified psychiatric facility where he had been held for 24 hours, for violent activity against patients and staff members.

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

Noting that Tamimi’s aggression was not treated while he was at that facility, his defense attorney argued that the psychiatric hospital was partially culpable for Bladon’s death by releasing him prematurely.

“Who should be held responsible?” the attorney asked the judge.

Israeli media also reported that Tamimi was convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting his daughter, and became despondent when he was released and no one in his family wanted to see him.

“I’m sure that he did this hoping the soldiers would shoot and kill him,” a family member said. “He never hid his desire to die, and even asked family members to kill him after the story with his daughter.”

Police said Tamimi purchased the knife used in the murder in east Jerusalem, boarded the light rail at Damascus Gate, and stabbed Bladon when he saw a soldier enter the tram, hoping to be shot to death.

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