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Hamas claims reponsibility for West Bank attack

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas claimed responsibility today for a shooting attack yesterday in which two Israelis were wounded in the occupied West Bank.

The roadside attack, near the Jewish settlement of Kochav Hashachar, occurred on the eve of face-to-face peace negotiations between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

Gunmen from Hamas, which rules the Palestinian Gaza Strip but has been curbed by Abbas's forces in the West Bank, killed four settlers in a similar attack on Tuesday and had vowed more violence to derail the talks.

"The attack (on Wednesday) was a message to those who pledged to the Zionist enemy that there would be no more attacks," said Hamas armed wing spokesman Abu Ubaida, referring to Abbas's US-backed Palestinian Authority administration.