Aljazera's correspondent reported that the occupation troops invaded from all directions. The troops fired several stun grenades and randomly opened fire, he added.

The fierce resistance met by Palestinian fighters however, led to the troops retreating a few hours later.

Israeli troops, in a dozen military vehicles, also raided a Palestinian police station in Tulkarm, arresting an unknown number of policemen.

Alson on Monday, Israeli troops kiled three Palestinians near a Jewish settlement in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli army reportedly said "several armed Palestinians" were spotted by Israeli troops near the Netzarim settlement.  A gunbattle ensued, with the Israeli army saying one Palestinian was killed.

Palestinian security officials reported three Palestinians were killed in the gunbattle.

White House visit

The West Bank raids came before Sharon's visit to the White House on Wednesday as President George Bush launches a new round of Middle East diplomacy this week to lay the groundwork for Israel's withdrawal of settlements from Gaza. 

Israel occupied West Bank and
Gaza Strip after the 1967 war

Israeli political sources in Jerusalem said Sharon would get a written US pledge that in exchange for a Gaza pullout, Israel would not have to give up all of the West Bank, under a future peace deal. 

A diplomatic official said this might be an overstatement of where the two sides were at this point. 

Palestinian officials representing Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have have said that any US assurance to Israel that it will not have to quit all of the West Bank in a future peace deal, will fly in the face of the "road map" and result in even more instability in the region.

Bush meets in Crawford, Texas, on Monday with Egyptian
President Husni Mubarak. Jordan's King Abd Allah is to meet Bush in Washington on 21 April.