%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:AED111-033102; AUDIO:%)

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) _ Israeli tanks entered biblical Bethlehem early Monday, stopping 500 meters (yards) from the Church of the Nativity, which marks the traditional birthplace of Jesus, witnesses said.

Earlier, dozens of Israeli tanks rolled into the West Bank town of Qalqiliya, marking a widening of the Israeli operation that began Friday, when Israeli forces broke into the compound around Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's office in the West Bank town of Ramallah and took up positions just outside his office, while other units took control of the town.