Israeli troops arrested a member of the Hamas-led Palestinian Cabinet early Thursday, Palestinian security officials said, as Israel increased pressure on the terrorist group to free a captive soldier.

The officials said Labor Minister Mohammed Barghouti was stopped on his way to his village north of Ramallah. Military jeeps stopped his car, ordered him out of the vehicle and took him away, they said.

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The army declined comment, saying the military operation was still underway. The security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, said the Israelis were looking for other Hamas ministers.