Family of British student stabbed to death in Jerusalem 'devastated by senseless and tragic attack'

Hannah Bladon was an exchange student in Jerusalem. Credit: FCO/PA

The family of a British woman stabbed to death on a train in Jerusalem have paid tribute to her and say they are "devastated by this senseless and tragic attack".

Hannah Bladon, 20, was attacked by a Palestinian man who pulled a knife from his bag and repeatedly stabbed her as the tram neared City Hall.

The Birmingham University religious studies student, who was studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on an exchange programme, was rushed to a medical centre but died soon afterwards.

Israel Police's foreign press spokesman Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld tweeted an image of the apparent murder weapon. Credit: Twitter/Micky Rosenfeld

In a statement, Ms Bladon's family called her "the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for".

They continued: "She was a talented student and was studying at Birmingham University for a degree in Religion, Theology and Archaeology.

“At the time of her death she was part of a student exchange programme and was studying at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She had been taking part in an archaeological dig that morning.

“Hannah was a talented musician, part of a serving team at her local church and a member of her local archaeological group. She was an enthusiastic rugby player and a keen Derby County supporter.

“She was driven and passionate and her death leaves so much promise unfulfilled.

“Our family are devastated by this senseless and tragic attack.”

An injured person is put into an ambulance. Credit: AP

Ben Bailey, the Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham said the thoughts of everyone at the university were with "Hannah's family and her close friends" following the "hugely tragic event".

Mr Bailey continued: "Hannah was an incredibly bright and capable student, a really brilliant student.

"She was really interested in biblical studies and intending to pursue an academic career in biblical studies and be an academic scholar which is why she was so passionate about going to study in Jerusalem."

Ben Bailey, the Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham. Credit: ITV News

Ms Blaydon's former headteacher also paid tribute to the student she described as a "joy to teach".

"Abbot Beyne School are shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Hannah Bladon," said Annabel Stoddart.

"Hannah left Abbot Beyne in August 2015 to follow her dreams.

"She had always wanted to study Theology and the University of Birmingham offered her a scholarship to do this.

"Hannah was a lovely young lady - determined, hardworking and a joy to teach.

"She had a hunger for new learning and a desire to always step out on her own.

"Her teachers remarked that it was refreshing to have such a positive, energetic and enthusiastic student in their lessons...

"It did not surprise us that Hannah took the opportunity to widen her studies in Jerusalem and that she threw herself into the many opportunities this wonderful city had to offer.

"It is however incredibly sad that her adventure should be cut short in such a way and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."

An Israeli offical inspect the site of the attack. Credit: PA

Two other people, a pregnant woman in her early 30s and a man in his early 50s, were also injured during the attack.

Police say they arrested a 57-year-old Palestinian man, who was wrestled to the ground by onlookers.

An off-duty policeman pulled an emergency brake and tried to intervene.

They said the attacker had recently been released from a psychiatric hospital, describing him as "mentally unstable".

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said he was "filled with sadness" about Ms Bladon's death, and said the country's "thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim".