Arab terrorists shot and wounded three people hiking between the Jewish communities of N'vei Tzuf and Nachliel in Samaria, northwest of Ramallah, Friday afternoon. Two of the victims are in moderate and very serious condition from bullet wounds in the back and stomach, and a third hiker suffered lighter wounds. Two others hid from the attackers for several minutes, escaped injury and notified authorities.

Rescue teams administered first aid at the scene and an army helicopter flew the victims to Sheba Hospital in Ramat Gan. Medics encountered delays because the wounded were in a hard to access location. IDF soldiers are searching for the terrorists. 

Area residents and leaders have warned that that the recent "good will measures" implemented by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to ease travel restrictions and remove roadblocks in Judea and Samaria would lead to an increase in terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

Spokesmen for the nationalist Jewish Front organization blamed Defense Minister Barak for the shooting, noting that he ordered the lifting of travel barriers for Arabs in the area. "The time has come for the Defense Minster to worry about the security of Jews and not the quality of life for Arabs," the Jewish Front stated.