A mentally ill Palestinian man who stabbed a British woman to death near Jerusalem’s Old City was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday by an Israeli court.
Hannah Bladon, 20, was stabbed to death on April 14, 2017, by Jamil Tamimi, a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem aged 57 at the time.
Bladon, a student at Britain’s University of Birmingham, was in Jerusalem on a semester-long exchange programme at the Hebrew University.
She had been riding a tram close to the Old City when she was stabbed by Tamimi seven times.
Tamimi, who was convicted on December 31 and sentenced on Thursday in a plea bargain, had been released from a mental health institution the previous day.
He was furious his children refused his request to stay with them and “resolved to stab someone to death with a knife” he had bought, the ruling said.
Tamimi was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia but fit to stand trial and accountable for his actions — but possibly to a slightly lesser degree, according to the doctors who examined him.
He was convicted of murder, with the 18-year prison term constituting a “lesser sentence”, the ruling said.
The court noted Tamimi had been sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2000 for committing a sexual crime against a minor in his family.
The murder took place as thousands of Christians from around the world marked Good Friday and Jews marked the week-long Passover holiday.
It also followed a wave of Palestinian knife and car-ramming attacks targeting Israelis.
But the Israeli prosecutor did not consider Tamimi motivated by the Palestinian cause, calling it “a case in which the defendant wished to put an end to his life and tragically chose to do so by taking the deceased’s life.”
Bladon’s parents had asked the court to sentence Tamimi to life in prison, with the judges, however, deciding on 18 years, which would end when he was “relatively old”.