Israeli troops on Sunday arrested Nizar Ramadan, 38, a journalist from Hebron, Ramadan's family members said.

Ramadan writes for the Jerusalem-based Arabic daily Al-Quds newspaper, IslamOnline and Aljazeera's Arabic website.

"They (Israeli soldiers) came around 3:30am - they banged on the door violently," said Ramadan's oldest son, Muntasir Ramadan, 14. "And when we opened, they herded all of us into the small veranda. Then they thoroughly searched all the rooms, including my father's office-room, but found nothing.

"They handcuffed my dad and dragged him with them," Ramadan said. "We don't know where he is now."

Nizar Ramadan had been arrested several times in the past in connection with his political activities and alleged relationship with the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

In Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the Israeli army arrested Nael Mahmoud Nakhleh, from the village of Shagba near Jenin.

Nakhleh works for a number of publications, including the Al-Quds newspaper and the Saudi newspaper Al-Jazeera.

An Israeli army spokesman declined to say why the two journalists were arrested.

Crackdown

The Israeli army arrested hundreds of people, including doctors, students, teachers and business people, throughout the West Bank on Saturday night and Sunday morning in a fresh crackdown on Hamas supporters.

The crackdown is the harshest since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reached a de facto ceasefire nearly eight months ago.