Terrorist expected to get 18 years for light-rail murder of British student

Hannah Bladon, a 20-year-old British exchange student, was stabbed to death on April 14th, 2017.

Scene of stabbing attack on Jerusalem light rail in which British student Hannah Bladon was killed , on April 14, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
57-year-old Jameel Tamimi is expected to be sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Jerusalem District Court in a plea deal for the murder of Hannah Bladon, a 20-year-old British exchange student stabbed to death on April 14, 2017 on the Jerusalem Light Rail.
Monday the prosecution and the defense made arguments regarding the sentence and in light of their plea bargain for a conviction but with a reduced mental state.
The court surprised the sides by delaying its decision until January 10, but is still expected to endorse the hard-negotiated deal.
Although murder usually carries a life sentence, the expected 18-year sentence would come after extended negotiations over Tamimi’s mental state.
While there was a finding that Tamimi could tell the differences between right and wrong, there was also a finding that Tamimi was mentally unstable, leading to the expected reduced sentence.
Bladon’s family and their lawyer, Maurice Hirsch, have been upset by the expected reduced sentence, but they had been prepared by the state prosecution that there were risks going to trial because of the mental state issue.
According to the indictment filed by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office, the attack took place extremely close to the Old City, where tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe were observing Passover and Easter.
Tamimi, a resident of east Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amud neighborhood, purchased a 30.5-cm.-long knife at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the murder.
Between noon and 12:30, Tamimi called his two sons to arrange a visit. Both rejected his request and suggested he return to the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center from where he had recently been discharged.
The indictment said the conversations angered Tamimi into making an immediate decision to commit murder with the knife.
After convincing a bystander at the Damascus Gate stop to buy a light rail ticket for him, Tamimi boarded a train heading toward the center of town at approximately 1 p.m.
Tamimi selected Bladon for being short and unable to resist, then waited until her back was turned to him. He stabbed her repeatedly in her back and chest until he was tackled by a fellow passenger.
“The suspect was taken to Jerusalem’s police headquarters for questioning, where it was confirmed that it was a terrorist attack,” Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said at the time.
Bladon’s family said at the time that they were devastated by her murder, in a statement issued through the British Foreign Office.
“Hannah was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for,” the statement said. “She was a talented student, and was studying at Birmingham University for a degree in religion, theology and archaeology.”
The family noted that Bladon was actively involved in the community and, as part of an exchange program at Hebrew University, had taken part in an archaeological dig on the morning of her death.
She began her studies at the Hebrew University in January 2017 and was expected to complete the program in September 2017.