'"President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government then had failed," Zahar told students and lecturers at the Islamic University in Gaza City.
Zahar did not say when and how Arafat instructed Hamas back then to launch the "military operations" – most of which were suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.
However, it is believed that Arafat issued the order to Hamas following the failure of the Camp David summit in 2000.
This was the first time that a senior Hamas official disclosed that some of the suicide bombings in Israel during the second intifada, which erupted 10 years ago, were ordered by Arafat.
Until now it was widely believed that Arafat had ordered his Fatah militiamen to carry out terror attacks on Israel.'