Palestinian witnesses say Israeli troops have arrested at least seven
Hamas members in a widening crackdown on the Palestinian militant group
in the West Bank.
Witnesses say the military detained two city
council members and other Hamas officials, including at least one
woman, in the West Bank city of Nablus Tuesday.
Israel has said
its crackdown is aimed at stopping Hamas from expanding its operations
beyond the Gaza Strip. But Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
says the Israeli raids undermine efforts by his government to establish
law and order in the West Bank.
In other news, French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner Tuesday said the European Union should play a
greater role in the Middle East peace process.
remarks before the European Parliament in Brussels, called for a
European "roadmap" to help bring peace to the region and give the
27-nation bloc more weight in the process.
But the French
foreign minister, whose country assumed the six-month rotating EU
presidency this month, said his proposal is not designed to compete
with the current U.S. peace plan for the region. He did not specify
what such a proposal would entail.
Separately Tuesday, a
Palestinian military tribunal sentenced two Palestinians to death by
firing squad for spying for Israel. Palestinian officials say the men
gave information to Israel that led to the deaths of at least two
The tribunal convicted the two men Tuesday of
treason. One defendant remains at large. Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas must authorize the death sentences before they can be
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.