Hamas issued a statement on Tuesday claiming responsibility for the shooting attack in the West Bank that left four Israeli civilians dead.

The statement from the armed wing of Hamas, a group that opposes any dialogue with Israel, said the "Qassam Brigades announces its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron."

"Hamas praises the attack and regards it as a natural response to the crimes of the occupation," said Sami Abu-Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, adding that the attack was proof "of a failure of security coordination" between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, opposes the peace talks starting in Washington on Wednesday and is not taking part.

Hamas' military wing said it would carry out more operations after claiming responsibility for the shooting.

"This attack is a chain in a series of attacks, some have been executed, and others will follow," Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the group, told Reuters.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority said it would take action to prevent a repeat of a militant attack which killed four Israeli settlers in the West Bank on Tuesday.

In a statement issued by his office, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the attack, which was claimed by the armed wing of the Hamas Islamist movement which governs the Gaza Strip.

"We condemn this operation, which goes against Palestinian interests," Fayyad said.