Good Friday in Israel marred by stabbing of Christian woman

The Good Friday and Passover celebrations in Jerusalem last week were marred by the fatal stabbing of a young Christian woman who was riding the light rail near the Old City.

(REUTERS / Ammar Awad)Israeli medics evacuate an injured person following a stabbing attack just outside Jerusalem's Old City, according to Israeli police, April 14, 2017.

According to police spokeswoman Luba Samri, the assailant took out a knife while the tram was nearing City Hall and stabbed the Christian woman several times in her upper body. The attacker, a Palestinian man, was stopped by an off duty policeman who happened to be there after the latter pulled the tram's emergency brake, ABC News relays.

The victim was rushed to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem after the attack. Despite attempts to save her life, she died of her injuries soon after, the hospital said.

In a statement on Twitter, Israel's ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, identified the victim as Hannah Bladon. The 20-year-old British victim was an exchange student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The attacker, on the other hand, has been identified by the Shin Bet domestic security service as Jamil Tamimi. The 57-year-old Palestinian reportedly has mental health problems and was found guilty in 2011 of sexually abusing his daughter. It was also noted that Tamimi had previously attempted to commit suicide.

"This is one of many instances where a Palestinian suffering personal strife ... chooses to carry out an attack in order to find release for his problems," the Shin Bet said in a statement about the Good Friday stabbing incident.

Regev described the stabbing as a "senseless act of terror." Israel's President Reuven Rivlin also released a statement expressing sorrow over the violent incident.

Nevertheless, President Rivlin vowed to continue ensuring the safety of the residents and visitors in Jerusalem. He said terror will never defeat them and destroy their lives.

In a statement, the British Foreign Office in London confirmed Bladon's death and promised to provide support for the victim's family. 

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