A Palestinian man who killed a British exchange student in Jerusalem in 2017 has been jailed for 18 years, with the victim’s family described as “outraged” over the leniency of the sentence.
Jamil Tamimi, 59, killed Hannah Bladon, a 21 year-old student, in a stabbing attack carried out on the Jerusalem light rail system in April 2017.
Tamimi, who had recently been released from a psychiatric facility in northern Israel, targeted the British student shortly after she had given up her seat on the train to an older lady.
Ms Bladon, a religious studies undergraduate at the University of Birmingham, was on an exchange programme with Hebrew University at the time.
A plea bargain was reportedly reached between Mr Tamimi and Israeli prosecutors, with the murderer acknowledging he was mentally ill.
According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, the Palestinian man, who had previously attempted to commit suicide by swallowing a razor blade, appeared to have carried out the attack with the intention that he would then be shot and killed by Israelis.
The prosecutor at the Jerusalem District Court, discussing the decision not to press for a life sentence, said: “this was not a terrorist incident ... This was a terrible murder carried out by a mentally ill person."
But Maurice Hirsch, the Israeli lawyer representing Ms Bladon’s family, described his clients as being “outraged by the leniency of the sentence. They expected that Hannah’s murderer would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
"For the family, it makes no difference whether this was a terror attack or just another crazed murderer.”
Reuters reported that Tamimi apologised for the killing in court, saying “"I'm sorry. I wish I could take her [Hannah Bladon's] place. I did not mean to murder her. I don't know how it happened.”