A mentally-ill Palestinian man who stabbed a young British woman to death in Jerusalem has been sentenced to 18 years in prison in a plea bargain.
Lawyers for the family of Hannah Bladon, 21, an exchange student who was stabbed to death on a tram in 2017, said they were outraged at the “leniency” of the sentence handed down to 59-year old Jamil Tamimi.
He had just learned that his sons felt he should remain in a mental institution and had stabbed University of Birmingham student Bladon “at random” in the hope that he would be shot and killed by Israeli officers in response.
The prosecutor and judge acknowledged that Tamimi was mentally ill despite Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld blaming the killing on “an Arab terrorist from East Jerusalem” at the time of the attack.
Bladon, who was on a year’s exchange at Hebrew University, had been on her way to a church to volunteer when she was attacked on the tram, which was packed with Christians celebrating Good Friday and Jews celebrating Passover.
Maurice Hirsch, the Bladon family’s representative, said: “They are outraged by the leniency of the sentence. They expected that Hannah’s murderer would spend the rest of his life behind bars.”
Bladon, who was studying religion and theology at the time, was described as a “talented musician” and “enthusiastic rugby player” by her family, who had sought a life sentence for Tamimi.
The court heard how he had apologised for the killing, saying: “I’m sorry. I wish I could take her place. I didn’t mean to murder her. I don’t know how it happened.”