British Exchange Student Stabbed, Killed in Jerusalem, Police Say

The Dome of the Rock is viewed at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City on November 27, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A British student who was visiting Jerusalem on an exchange program was stabbed to death Friday on the city’s light rail line, authorities said.

Paramedics rushed Hannah Bladon, 20, to the hospital, police said, but she died shortly after she arrived there.

In a statement Saturday by the UK Foreign Office, her relatives said they were “devastated by this senseless and tragic attack.”

“Hannah was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for,” her family said. “She was driven and passionate, and her death leaves so much promise unfulfilled.”

Bladon was a talented musician studying for a degree in religion, theology and archaeology at the University of Birmingham in central England, her family said. She was on a student exchange program with the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and had been taking part in an archaeological dig Friday morning.

“Our thoughts are with those who were injured and the family of the British woman who was killed in the terror attack in Jerusalem today,” the Israeli Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Twitter.

A suspect was arrested at the scene. Security officials identified him as Jameel Tamimi, a 57-year-old Palestinian man from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud.

Despite the Israeli Embassy’s characterization of the stabbing as a “terror attack,” the alleged perpetrator’s motive is unknown.

Tamimi suffers from “personal, mental, or moral hardship,” according to the Israel Security Agency.

Tamimi was convicted of sexually abusing his daughter in 2011 and attempted to commit suicide this year by swallowing a razor blade, the agency said.

The attack comes with police on heightened alert due to heavy tourism during the Easter and Passover holidays.