At around 2 pm the assailant, later identified as 16-year-old Basma Awad al-Nabari from the Bedouin village of Hura, arrived at the entrance to the base and began to fire a handgun. The guard at the entrance averted her arm, and she fired into the air before taking cover near the guard's post. A Border Guard officer who arrived at the scene shot and killed her, according to police.
Police said the attack was nationalistically-motivated and that the teenager acted alone, adding that officers were searching her home for any evidence that may shed light on the incident.
Hura Council Head Mohamed al-Nabari dismissed the police's claim that the attack was nationalistically-motivated, and said residents of the village were shocked upon receiving word of the incident.
"The girl came from a stable family and was an outstanding and responsible student at the local high school," he said, "I don’t understand what happened."
Commander of the Negev District Police, Deputy Inspector General Yossi Frienti, told Ynet that after the gunwoman fired the soldier guarding the entrance to the base asked her in Arabic to lower her weapon, promising that no harm would come to her, but she did not heed the warning.
"She fired a number of shots at the guard and then took cover near the post. The Border Guard officer who arrived on the scene fired at the terrorist. On her back was a large bag and she continued to crawl towards the entrance," he said.
Checkpoint near scene of attack (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
Sappers used a robot to detect any explosives on the gunwoman's body, finding none, while Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen was alerted to the scene.
Frienti added that police set up roadblocks throughout the surrounding area and that sappers had gone through the woman's belongings. "We didn't find an explosive device," he said. He added that the officers had worked efficiently.
An initial investigation into the case revealed that the woman had fired 4-5 bullets from an FN-type handgun. The guard stationed at the entrance to the base was still delivering his testimony.
Ophir Yevarkan, the officer who shot the terrorist dead told Ynet "during the shift we received a report of a female terrorist firing towards the base. I made my way to the scene of the attack and neutralized her.
The officer said he spotted the woman at a corner of the fence surrounding the base. "She didn't speak to us but we tried to persuade her to stop firing," he said, "the guard at the entrance to the base asked that she put the gun down, but she didn't respond."
Police Commissioner Cohen praised the officers' conduct, and called on the public to remain alert "so that we may have a peaceful holiday."
He said there were no specific warnings regarding possible attempts to carry out terror attacks over the Pesach holiday.
Fire at the border
Earlier Saturday, IDF soldiers clashed with several Palestinian gunmen while patrolling along the northern Gaza Strip security fence.
The incident, which took place near kibbutz Kfar Aza, saw Golani Brigade troops cross over the fence in pursuit of the gunmen. The fire exchange which ensued left two militants dead injured. A subsequent canvass by the soldiers found an explosive device on the premises.
Palestinian sources confirmed the incident, further reporting that the gunmen were attempting to fend off the IDF force, which they claim attempted to venture deep into the Strip.
Another report alleged that the gunfight began after the Palestinians opened fire and attempted to use an explosive device on the soldiers.
Palestinian health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain later said that three men were injured in the incident.
The Palestinians also claimed that the Israeli military was preventing them from extracting the bodies. The gunmen's affiliation remains unclear at this time.
Hanan Greenberg, Ali Waked and AP contributed to this report