Israeli authorities arrested three prominent Palestinian leaders Tuesday and ordered them imprisoned without trial in the most severe measure taken against the local Palestinian leadership in more than a year.

Military authorities said they had detained two journalists who have frequently been accused by Israel of being leaders of the intifada, or Arab uprising in the Israeli-occupied territories.Defense Minister Moshe Arens ordered both held for six months of ``administrative detention,' meaning they will be imprisoned without trial in a desert camp maintained by Israel for Arab militants.

The action appeared tailored to satisfy hard-liners who have been demanding a crackdown on the Arab rebellion.

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