Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton discussed the likelihood of further arrests in connection with the Burgertory firebombing incident in Caulfield during a recent interview on 3AW radio.
The controversial fire, initially blamed on members of the Jewish community by the Palestinian-Australian owner Hash Tayeh, stirred tensions within the community.
Responding to questions from host Tom Elliot about the incident, Commissioner Patton cautiously mentioned ongoing investigations and the possibility of additional arrests. He refrained from divulging specific details due to legal constraints, citing the case's 'sensitive nature' as it proceeds through the courts.
While the initial characterisation of the incident as a hate crime was refuted by authorities, Commissioner Patton emphasised the 'complexity' of the investigation and the need to withhold certain information during legal proceedings.
Despite the reluctance to disclose specifics, he assured listeners of the thoroughness of the investigation and reiterated that the incident was not motivated by hate.
The Burgertory fire, which occurred amid heightened tensions between Palestinian and Jewish communities in Melbourne, sparked violent scenes when Police were forced to deploy pepper spray and evacuated a synagogue after 100 protesters gathered in a park across the road during Shabbat prayers on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
Commissioner Patton's remarks suggest that law enforcement is actively pursuing leads and may soon make additional arrests related to the incident.
A Go Fund Me campaign raised almost $65,000 to 'Rebuild Burgetory' falsely claiming that 'Hash Tayeh an Australian-Palestinian has been subjected to a hate crime'.
Just days before the blaze, Tayeh was recorded on a podcast talking about arson incidents from within his Arab community but later shifted blame to suit his 'anti-Zionist' activism.
As the investigation unfolds, Victorians await further updates from law enforcement regarding the Burgertory case.