Israeli forces in the West Bank have arrested a top Hamas operative and a 14-year-old Palestinian boy suspected of being coerced into a suicide bomb plot.

Officials said they had been hunting for the Hamas suspect, Ibrahim Ighnimat, for nearly eight years. He is accused of taking part in several attacks in Israel, including the 1997 bombing of a Tel Aviv cafe, which killed three Israelis.

In a separate raid, Israeli forces arrested the boy, who claimed that militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forced him to train as a suicide bomber.

Also Wednesday, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip released an American reporter and a British photographer they had kidnapped hours earlier.

The two journalists for Knight-Ridder newspapers were riding in a car when they were stopped by armed militants and abducted.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.