Israeli border guards shot and killed a 16-year-old Bedouin girl Saturday afternoon after she fired several pistol shots at their base, located a short distance from Hura, the Israeli south Negev town where she lived.

The girl, identified as Basma Awad al-Nabiri, arrived at the base wearing traditional Bedouin dress, which initially led the border guards to believe she wasn’t a threat. However, that quickly changed after she pulled her gun out and began firing four or five shots at a sentry who then pushed her back.

“She seemed dazed, disconnected from reality,” the sentry said. “I spoke to her in Arabic. I told her that it wasn’t worth it to keep shooting and hurting people. I tried to soften her, to convince her to throw away the gun, that we wouldn’t hurt her.”

While he tried coaxing her to give up, he also called for backup, as she reportedly ran for cover and continued firing. The sentry and other backup guards who arrived on the scene kept trying to coax her to lay down her weapon.

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However, she refused to lay down her pistol and kept shooting until an arriving Israeli officer shot and killed her, while the sentry and other border guards took cover.

Israeli intelligence remains skeptical that she acted alone and on her own initiative.

“It is unlikely that a teenage girl would perpetrate a terror attack on her own initiative without someone in [her] town brainwashing her, providing her with a handgun and teaching her to shoot,” said a high-ranking officer of the Israeli intelligence who is investigating the attack. “Our goal is to get to whomever sent her.”

Israeli investigators confiscated the girl’s computer and papers containing correspondence she had engaged in with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and others. She reportedly received information on how to perpetrate the attack on related Web sites.

Her notebooks, seized by Israeli police, contained poems about her desire to be a “martyr” and about her anger over the Arab world’s failure to destroy Israel.

According to her teachers, she attended to the Amal Hura high school, where she was an outstanding member of a program for gifted students.

Israeli police said yesterday they had arrested the girl’s uncle, brother and mother on the assumption they had advance knowledge of the attack. Some in Israel are saying such an attack by a Bedouin is unprecedented.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.