Israel charges Palestinian stabber of British student with murder

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-12 02:06:18|Editor: yan
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JERUSALEM, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Israel's prosecution indicted on Thursday a mentally disturbed Palestinian with murdering a British student in a knife attack on Jerusalem's light rail a month ago.

The Jerusalem District Attorney's office said in a statement that the indictment was filed with the Jerusalem District Court.

The move came after a state-sponsored psychiatric evaluation found last month that the defendant, Jamil Tamimi, a 57-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, was fit to stand trial.

According to the indictment, Tamimi traveled to Jerusalem on April 14 morning from a psychiatric center in northern Israel, where he was hospitalized. He decided to go on a stabbing spree after a quarrel with two of his sons.

He then saw Hanna Baldon, 21, on the light rail and stabbed her multiple times before security personnel arrested him, the indictment said.

According to the indictment, he intentionally targeted "a weak victim who could not resist him."

Baldon, a student from the University of Birmingham, was in Israel with a student exchange program and studied religion, theology, and archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was on her way back from an archeological dig before the stabbing.

She died in hospital shortly after the attack.

Israeli security forces defined the stabbing as a "terror attack." After the incident, the Shin Bet security service released a statement saying "this was not the first time that a Palestinian suffering from personal, mental or moral distress has chosen to commit a terrorist attack in order to escape his problems."

The incident came amidst a spate of violence that broke out in September 2015.

Since the beginning of the unrest, Palestinians have killed 41 Israelis and two U.S. nationals, while Israeli forces and civilians killed at least 241 Palestinians, a Jordanian, and two African asylum seekers, most of them alleged attackers.

Israel accuses the Palestinian National Authority of "inciting" the unrest. The Palestinians say it is the result of 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, home to more than 5 million Palestinians.