Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal's mediation efforts in Syria
drew harsh criticism from the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which said he had "not right to meddle" in the Arab country's internal affairs.
PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo was referring to comments made by Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby in Cairo
on Friday, according to which he had asked Mashaal, the Damascus-based leader of the terror group Hamas,
to ask the Syrian government to work to halt violence in the country.
"I gave him (Mashaal) a message today to the Syrian authorities that it is necessary to work with integrity, transparency and credibility to halt the violence that is happening in Syria," the Arab League head said after a suicide bomber in Syria's capital Damascus killed 25 people.
Elaraby told reporters that Mashaal had a key role in convincing Syria to sign the Arab League protocol. Mashaal, speaking alongside Elaraby, said Hamas had been working to bring an end to the crisis in Syria through diplomacy.
However, Rabbo said Mashaal had "no right to mediate on behalf of any regime – Syrian or any other."
Syria has been racked for 10 months by an uprising against President Bashar Assad
in which the United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed. The government says armed "terrorists" have killed 2,000 members of the security forces.
The Arab League has sent monitors to Syria to check on the government's compliance with a promise to end 10 months of violence against pro-democracy protesters.
Elaraby said there was still work to be done according to the agreement between the League and Syria to scale back its military presence in cities and free thousands of prisoners detained since the uprising began last March.
"The observers are striving to realize this situation: to realize a halt to the violence; to realize the release of the detained, to realize the withdrawal of the (military) vehicles. Therefore there is work," he said.
He also said the Arab monitors were in Syria now "to undertake a mission that is bigger than that which was asked of them," but without giving further details.
Reuters contributed to the report