British student's friend warned her: 'There's been an attack. Be careful.'
Roommates of Hannah Bladon, who was murdered Friday on the Jerusalem tram, say they are unable to process her death as they mourn the loss of their friend, who 'loved people and animals and always wanted to travel to Israel...She was so wonderful. I could relax just looking at her.'
Bladon was living in dormitories at Hebrew University while on a semester-long program from her home institution of Birmingham University where she was studying religious-studies and archaeology.
She shared an apartment with Victoria and Christina from Germany, who have both expressed their inability to process the horrifying reality that has befallen them and Bladon’s family.
For Victoria, the murder was particularly terrifying given that she was also on a different Jerusalem tram during the stabbing one station ahead of Hannah.
The moment news broke of the stabbing, Victoria sent a message via Facebook to Hannah: “How are you Hannah? I saw that there was an attack on the light rail. Be careful,” she wrote, unaware that Hannah’s life had already been taken.
“I heard immediately that something happened, but I never thought that Hannah would be involved in anything,” Victoria told Ynet, pointing at the belongings of her murdered roommate in the apartment. “It is really hard to look at her things.”
Christina recounted her final moments with Hannah. “On Friday morning I left the apartment at around 10am and went to Tiberias. I wished Hannah a happy Passover and she did the same and said that she was going to travel to celebrate in the Old City. That was the last time that we saw each other. She never returned from there.”
Given the shock that has overwhelmed Victoria and Christina, the two are still unsure as to whether they intend to remain in Israel and continue their studies.
“I am not sure I will continue with my studies,” Chirstina said. “I am really in shock and I am waiting to hear what the university says about our security. The first instinct is to fly back to the family in Germany, to hug them and tell them I am ok. On the other hand, I don’t want this terrible attack to stop me and spoil my studies.”
Echoing the sentiments of Bladon’s family, Christina described her old roommate as being “full of compassion and caring toward people and animals,” recalling how she would feed all the cats in the student village with food she purchased with her own money.
“She always said that she wants to save money to travel to Israel.” Christina went on to describe Hannah as “such a wonderful person, who had a hobby of walking around the apartment singing.”
Victoria also emphasized that Hannah would always do whatever she could to help her friends.
“She was an extremely relaxed person. I could look her in the eye and just relax. I cannot believe this happened to her, of all people. I can’t digest it,” she bemoaned.
Following the attack, Bladon’s family released a statement announcing that they are “devastated by this senseless and tragic attack.”
Bladon is one of several foreign nationals to have been slain in a stabbing attack.
(Translated and edited by Alexander J. Apfel)