JERUSALEM, June 12 (UPI) -- Hamas prisoners in Israel say they will pull back their support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' effort for a referendum on Palestinian statehood.
The decision refers to a decree by Abbas for a referendum July 26 on the Prisoners' Document, seen as implying recognition of Israel.
The prisoners say Abbas is playing politics with their efforts to promote a unified Palestinian political agenda, The New York Times reported Monday.
The prisoners' decision to withdraw support for the document is a first effort by Hamas, which has a majority in the Palestinian Authority's parliament, to forestall the referendum, the Times said.
Prime Minister Ismail Haniya asked Abbas to give up the referendum, calling it a divisive mechanism at a time of crisis, the report said.
The developments come in the midst of Hamas' announcement that its fragile 18-month truce with Israel ended with the deaths last week of eight civilians on a Gazan beach, killed by an errant Israeli artillery shell for which Israel has expressed regret. Hamas has since continued to fire rockets into Israel.