Middle East

Jerusalem stabbing: Tributes paid to Hannah Bladon

Hannah Bladon Image copyright PA
Image caption Hannah Bladon was on an exchange programme at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The University of Birmingham says it is "deeply saddened" by the death of its student Hannah Bladon.

Ms Bladon, 20, was stabbed to death on a tram in Jerusalem on Good Friday.

She was on an exchange at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which expressed "deep sorrow" over her death.

Ms Bladon was stabbed several times in the chest while she travelled on a tram in Tzahal Square and died in hospital. A 57-year-old Palestinian man was detained at the scene.

'Inquisitive and adventurous'

Ms Bladon had been taking classes in bible studies, archaeology, and Hebrew at the Rothberg International School, part of the Hebrew University.

The school said: "Her friends described her as an inquisitive and adventurous student who made the most of her opportunity to learn and experience life in Israel."

The University of Birmingham said: "Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this tragic time and we will be providing support for any student affected by this terrible event."

Police say the suspect, a resident of Ras al-Amud in east Jerusalem, was recently released from a psychiatric hospital.

Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevy told the AFP news agency that the man was "very mentally disturbed".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Officials inspect the scene of the attack near the Old City

An off-duty policeman travelling on the tram pulled an emergency brake and then tackled the attacker, with the help of another passenger.

He told the AFP news agency: "I was travelling with my family when I heard the cries of 'attack, attack'.

"I sounded the alarm then rushed to the scene of the attack. We overpowered him."

A 30-year-old pregnant woman and a 50-year-old man were also injured in the attack.

BBC Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman said the pair were either hurt when the tram came to a sudden stop or in the panic to get away.

'Filled with sadness'

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the tragic death of a British national in Jerusalem.

"We are providing support to her family at this difficult time and are in touch with local authorities."

There will continue to be heightened security in Jerusalem after measures were brought in ahead of the Jewish Passover Festival and Easter celebrations.

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said he was "filled with sadness about the attack" and that his thoughts and prayers were with the family of the victim.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted a picture of the knife used in the attack.

Image copyright PA