Jerusalem: A British exchange student was fatally stabbed Friday by a Palestinian attacker just steps from Jerusalem's Old City, where thousands of Jews and Christians gathered for religious holidays at one of the busiest times of the year, officials said.
Thousands of people filled parts of the ancient city: Jews to celebrate Passover, which ends Monday, and Christian pilgrims for Good Friday. The attack took place inside a car of the city's light-rail train not far from the entrance to the Old City's Christian Quarter.
The woman, identified as Hannah Bladon, 21, was treated for stab wounds in a hospital and later died, police said. Ms Bladon was an exchange student from the University of Birmingham in England, and arrived in Israel in January to spend a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the university said in a statement.
Israel's Shin Bet security agency named the suspected attacker as 57-year-old Jamal Tamimi from East Jerusalem, a mostly Arab area. They said he had mental health issues and had attempted suicide this year while hospitalised. Tamimi was arrested at the scene, the report said."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 statement said,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared the attack to other violent acts around the world in recent weeks. "Radical Islam strikes at the capitals of the world and, unfortunately, terrorism has hit the capital of Israel - Jerusalem,"
"A Palestinian terrorist murdered a 23-year-old student, a citizen of Great Britain, in cold blood," the premier said, sending condolences in the name of all of Israel.
Friday's killing is the latest in a spate of stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinians against Israelis over the past 18 months.
Read the accounts from the Israeli doctor, paramedic and policeman who tried to save Miss Bladon; this was a frenzied attack by an man on an unknown woman young enough to be his granddaughter.