Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has condemned Israel's arrest of Deputy Prime Minister Nasser al-Shaer, a top official of the Hamas militant organization.

In an early morning raid Saturday, Israeli forces burst into Shaer's home in the West Bank town of Ramallah and took him away for questioning.

An Israeli spokesman said the Palestinian leader was taken into custody because he is a member of Hamas, which Israel, the United States and the European Union consider a terrorist organization.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian gunman and an Israeli soldier were killed in a firefight in the West Bank.

Israel began a crackdown against members of the Palestinian ruling group Hamas following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier from an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip in June.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.