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Australia man charged for threatening family with 'fake bomb' allegedly over Palestine support

March 7, 2024 at 6:08 pm

Australian flag seen flying in Toowoomba, Queensland [Lachlan Fearnley / Wikimedia]

An Australian man was charged by police, Thursday, for threatening a family in Sydney that one of the country’s senators said had “openly supported” Palestine, Anadolu Agency reports.

However, their backing for Palestine was not one of the motivations identified by New South Wales police, after the 44-year-old man planted a suspected bomb on the hood of the family’s car outside their home in January.

Following an investigation into the item, police said a rescue and bomb squad had “deemed the item safe.”

A member of the family later received a phone threat on 16 February, said the statement, adding that this triggered an investigation into the matter.

Police, on Thursday, executed a search warrant at another home in the eastern suburb of Botany, seized several items and arrested the man.

He was charged with sending an “article to cause alarm”, as well as intimidation, harassment and trespassing.

READ: Israel premier says not attacking Rafah means losing war in Gaza

However, Theo, the member of the family who was threatened, claimed that the item was, indeed, a bomb, according to local media.

According to Theo, “the investigating officer confirmed the item was an improvised explosive device without the ability to detonate remotely,” the Michael West Media independent news website reported.

Instead, it added, police allegedly “downplayed” the incident and handed the probe “to a junior constable at the local police station who went on leave, rather than Counter-Terrorism police.”

The website identified the suspect as David Wise.

Since Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip began five months ago, widespread support for Palestine has erupted in Australia, with calls on the government of Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, to halt arms supplies to Tel Aviv.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, which Tel Aviv said killed nearly 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 30,700 Palestinians have since been killed and over 72,000 others injured in Israeli attacks.

READ: ‘Clear picture of support’: Why Australia lawyers want ICC to probe their PM for Gaza genocide