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Israeli troops enter West Bank town

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An Israeli infantry force backed by tanks has rolled into a West Bank town to arrest three Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities, a statement from Israel Defense Forces said.

The Israeli action took place Qabatiya, near Jenin, in a section of the West Bank under Palestinian control. Parts of the West Bank are under joint Israeli-Palestinian supervision.

Among those arrested for questioning was Hamas member Zacraneh.

According to the IDF, Palestinians fired at the Israeli force a number of times during the operation, but said there were no injuries.

Israeli forces left Qabatiya once the operation was complete. An M-16 assault rifle found with the men was confiscated.

U.S. Mideast peace envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni will return to the region Thursday, the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem confirmed Tuesday.

Zinni left the Middle East in the midst of escalating violence following the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister.

Three days ago Palestinian police arrested one of the militants sought by Israel.

Moussa Kullab was one of 33 suspected militants named by Israeli in a list that U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni gave to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

At least 11 others on the list have been arrested, according to Israeli sources.

Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist group known among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza for actions such as building schools, hospitals and helping the community in social and religious ways.

Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al Quassam, has carried out military and terrorist operations against Israelis.

Arafat has come under increasing pressure from the United States, Israel and Europe to crack down on terrorists in territory under Palestinian control since the latest string of suicide attacks began in Israel in early December.




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