Family grieves for Hannah Bladon, Christian student murdered in knife attack in Israel

Worshipers gather in Jerusalem's Old City, where Hannah Blazon was stabbed to death.Reuters

Hannah Bladon, the British student stabbed to death in Jerusalem, was passionate, driven and an active member of her local church, her family has said.

In a statement, they said they are 'devastated' by what was a 'senseless and tragic attack' on Bladon, 20, who was stabbed on the light rail line in Jerusalem on Good Friday.

Bladon, from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, and who was a server at church, was studying at Rothberg International School, part of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A keen archaeologist, she was on a dig earlier in the day.

The Israel Antiquities Authority sent its 'deepest condolences' to her family over the murder.

'Hannah recently volunteered in the IAA excavation at Wilson's Arch in the Western Wall tunnels, and was supposed to return to the excavation after the holiday. May her memory be a blessing,' the authority said. 

Bladon died in hospital after being stabbed repeatedly in the chest. 

A 57-year-old Palestinian man, who was recently discharged from mental hospital, has been arrested.

The family described her in their statement as 'the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for' and said she was also a talented musician.

She was also a rugby player and a Derby County supporter.

'She was driven and passionate and her death leaves so much promise unfulfilled,' the family said.

Bladon was a student at Birmingham university. Her tutor Dr Andrew Davies, head of theology and religion, said in a statement: 'I think one of the first things that struck us about her was her enthusiasm.

'She was always the kind of first to be there for lecture, bright-eyed, bushy tailed, even in the early hours of the morning. Really enthusiastic, really dedicated and really committed - clear first-class material and she wanted to be an academic in the future.'

Bishop of Lichfield Michael Ipgrave, said she was active n the life of her local church.

'My thoughts are with her church family in Burton. Through the Dean of Lichfield, we have also made contact with St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem and asked for prayers to be offered for Hannah there.'

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted a photograph of the knife used: