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US Airman Sets Himself On Fire Outside Israeli Embassy In Washington

The man had filmed himself shouting "Free Palestine" as he lit himself on fire, according to footage shared on social media.


An image of the U.S. flag.
U.S. flag.

 

An active member of the US Air Force has died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington over the weekend in protest of the war in Gaza, the Pentagon said Monday.

Emergency responders on Sunday had rushed to the scene just before 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) in response to a “call for person on fire outside the Israeli Embassy,” according to a message on X, formerly Twitter, by the capital city’s fire department.

They arrived to find that officers from the Secret Service — the US law enforcement agency tasked with protecting embassies in Washington — had already extinguished the fire.

The man had filmed himself shouting “Free Palestine” as he lit himself on fire, according to footage shared on social media.

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He was initially transported to hospital with “critical life-threatening injuries,” the fire department said.

An Air Force spokeswoman told AFP Monday morning that the unnamed “individual involved in yesterday’s incident succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night.”

“We will provide additional details 24 hours after next-of-kin notifications are complete.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy said no staff were injured in the incident, and that the man was “unknown” to them.

In the video shared on social media, the man is seen wearing military fatigues and declaring he will “not be complicit in genocide” before dousing himself in liquid.

He then lights himself on fire while yelling “Free Palestine!” until he falls on the ground.

The video was reportedly first shared in a livestream on the social platform Twitch.

The shocking act came as protests are increasing across the United States against Israel’s actions in Gaza, where it is waging a retaliatory war for an attack on October 7 by Hamas militants.

With the death toll in Gaza nearing 30,000, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there, international pressure has been increasing on the United States to rein in its ally Israel and call for a ceasefire.

AFP