Dalal al-Sabagh, 23, was hit in the head and the stomach as she tried to move one of her three children away from the window of the family's home during the shooting, witnesses said.

Aljazeera's correspondent reported that Israeli troops, backed by armoured tanks raided the town and opened fire randomly, killing the woman and injuring three others, including a photographer working for Agence France Presse. The news agency said its employee was wounded in the leg.

The army said it allowed a Palestinian ambulance to take the photographer to a local hospital.

According to reports, Israeli army sources said there had been intense exchanges of fire between Palestinian fighters and its forces during the invasion.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli troops arrested a senior Hamas member, the brother of the first female bomber deployed by the resistance movement.

The latest death brings the overall toll since the start of the Palestinian Intifada in September 2000 to 3822, including 2868 Palestinians and 886 Israelis.