The Bush administration on Monday strongly denounced a suicide bomb attack in southern Israel that killed three people, saying such violence undermines Palestinian hopes for an independent state.

"Our condolences go out to the victims, their families, and the people of Israel. We also condemn those Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, that condone these barbaric actions," the White House said in a statement.

"The burden of responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks rests with the Palestinian Authority government," it added. "Failure to act against terror will inevitably effect relations between that government and the international community and undermine the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own. "