Australia looks at solving ’cold case’ Israel consulate bombing, offers reward

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Australian police on Monday announced a new push to solve two bombings targeting the Jewish community in 1982, offering Aus$1 million ($683,214) for information about the country’s “first terrorism cold case.”

An explosion hit the Israeli consulate in Sydney on December 23, 1982, before a car bomb went off in the basement of the Hakoah Club in nearby Bondi about four hours later.

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Police have called the bombings – which caused a small number of injuries but no deaths – Australia’s “first terrorism cold case” and an act of “international terrorism motivated by Palestinian nationalism.”

One man was briefly charged in connection with the attacks in 1983, but the case was dropped before the trial started.

New South Wales Police counter-terrorism commander Mark Walton said the cash reward – the equivalent of just over US$680,000 – was on offer for information leading to criminal convictions.

He said police were looking for three people in particular – two men and one woman – who they thought held crucial information.

“Rewards are an important tool in many investigative strategies, particularly where we know there’s a reluctance or fear of providing information to police,” he said.

“These attacks have remained in the hearts and minds of Jewish, Israeli and Australian communities - and certainly never forgotten by investigators.”

The reward coincided with a new coronial investigation into the bombings.

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