The Palestinian man who stabbed to death a British woman in a terror attack in Jerusalem on Friday is fit to stand trial, a psychiatrist for the Jerusalem district branch of the State Prosecutor’s Office determined Tuesday.
East Jerusalem resident Jamil Tamimi killed Hannah Bladon, 20, an exchange student from Birmingham University who was on a study program at the Hebrew University, as she rode on the Jerusalem Light Rail in the capital.
Tamimi, 57, who has a history of mental problems, was given a psychiatric assessment in light of his past, which included treatment at the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center and an attempt to commit suicide.
The test was ordered by a Jerusalem court, where Tamimi was remanded into custody on Monday.
Israeli TV reported Saturday that Bladon was standing by the exit doors of the train, near to Tamimi, because she had given up her seat to a woman who was holding a baby.
Tamimi told investigators that he attacked her because he wanted to die and hoped the soldier who was standing next to her on the train would kill him, Channel 2 reported, describing the killing as “an attempted suicide attack.”
Tamimi was on his way from a mental hospital in northern Israel when he carried out the stabbing. He had telephoned his family when he reached Jerusalem, and spoken to one of his sons, who told him that the family wanted no contact with him, in part because he had previously been convicted of sexually abusing his daughter.
Tamimi told investigators that he felt he had “nothing left to lose.” He purchased a knife in the Old City and boarded the Light Rail at Damascus Gate shortly before 1 p.m. Seeing an armed soldier on board, he decided to attack Bladon, who was standing nearby. He took out the knife and stabbed her multiple times, critically wounding her.
In a statement on Saturday, her family in the UK said Bladon “was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for.”
Her “final act of kindness,” the TV report said, was to give up her seat on the train for the woman who was holding a baby. Bladon had previously been sitting further back in the carriage, but got up for the woman, and went to stand near the exit door.
Bladon had been studying religion, theology and archaeology at the University of Birmingham since 2015. As part of her studies she began a program at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University in January, which she was set to complete in September.
Her family said she was on her way back from an archaeological dig when she was killed.
On Monday evening, England’s Derby County soccer club held a minute of silence before the start of its game against Huddersfield Town in honor of Bladon, who was a fervent Derby County supporter.
The gesture was impeccably observed, with thousands of fans of both teams standing in silence. The players from each team stood, arms linked and heads bowed, facing each other in the center of the field.
When the minute was over, fans also applauded.