$1 million reward for information into 1982 bombings of the Israeli Consulate and Hakoah Club
On the first day of the Coronial Inquiry into Australia’s first terrorism cold case, the NSW Government has announced the reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible has been increased to $1 million.
About 2pm on Thursday 23 December 1982, a bomb exploded directly in front of the Israeli Consulate in Westfield Towers on William Street, Sydney.
A number of people were injured by shrapnel and glass, as well as being thrown across the room from impacts of the explosion.
The building sustained significant damage, reducing the internal stairs to rubble and creating a 30cm hole in the concrete steel-reinforced floor.
Later that day, the Hakoah Club was hosting hundreds of competitors for the Maccabi Games when a Valiant, which was parked in the basement of the club, exploded about 6.45pm.
While the device detonated, fortunately, the full potential of the blast did not eventuate. No one was injured, but it is believed the blast was intended to collapse the building
Investigations into the attacks were commenced and were quickly linked together and deemed to be acts of international terrorism motivated by Palestinian nationalism.
Extensive investigations were conducted, and a man was charged in 1983, however, the matter was no billed before the commencement of the trial.
In 2011, investigators from the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) established Strike Force Forbearance to re-investigate the bombings.
The NSW Government announced a $100,000 reward in December 2012, which generated a number fresh of lines of inquiry. However, to date, no one has been charged.
Investigators continue to seek information from the community in relation to the identity of three people who they believe can assist with their inquiries.
Strike Force Forbearance detectives have subsequently prepared a Coronial brief of evidence, which is being heard as an Inquiry before the NSW State Coroner from today (Monday 5 December 2022).
As such, the NSW Government has increased the reward to $1 million in hope that anyone with information which may provide answers and justice for the community – particularly the Israeli and Jewish communities – will come forward.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said detectives have dedicated thousands of hours over the years, particularly in the last decade, to solving this case.
“These two horrific targeted attacks were international acts of terrorism, and despite extensive damage caused to the Israeli Consulate and the Hakoah Club, we are extremely fortunate that no one was killed,” Mr Toole said.
“I hope this increased reward of $1 million will be the final push members of the public need to offer up information – no matter how big or small it may seem – to help police in their unwavering quest for answers and provide closure for all those involved.”
Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, welcomed the reward and thanked the NSW Government for their continued support to cold case investigations.
“Rewards are an important tool in many investigative strategies, particularly where we know there’s a reluctance or fear of providing information to police,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.
“These attacks have remained in the hearts and minds of Jewish, Israeli and Australian communities – and certainly never forgotten by investigators – who’ve worked diligently to prepare evidence for the information of the NSW Coroner.
“It is our hope that the reward will motivate those who know who was involved in the bombings to come forward and help us solve this 40-year-old mystery.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark said the Jewish community remains hopeful that someone with information will come forward.
“For four long decades, our community has searched for answers about this heinous terrorist attack targeting innocent Australians on our own soil,” Mr Bark said.
“Despite the miracle that no one was killed, the community deserves to know the truth, and this reward is a step closer to closure.
“The NSW Jewish community is incredibly grateful for the NSW Police Force and its dedicated detectives who have never given up hope and continue to work every day in the pursuit of justice.”
The $1 million reward can be paid to anyone who has information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the bombings.
The NSW JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.
Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.
Anyone with information which may assist Strike Force Forbearance detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.