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US Air Force Member Dies After Self Immolation Outside Israeli Embassy

February 26, 2024

An active-duty member of the US Air Force, Aaron Bushnell, set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, on Sunday 25 February as an act of protest against what he described as the “genocide” of the Palestinian people. 

The fire was extinguished by Secret Service officers upon their arrival, and Bushnell was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. He reportedly died of his injuries later that night.

The incident, captured in a video that was later removed from the streaming platform Twitch, drew attention to the ongoing war on Palestine and the protests it has sparked worldwide.

Authorities responded to the incident on International Drive Street after receiving assistance requests from the Secret Service. 

In a vocal message before the act, Bushnell expressed his intent to engage in an extreme form of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people. 

“My name is Aaron Bushnell, I am an active duty member of the United States Air Force and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal,” he declared.

This incident sparked an investigation by the Secret Service, Metropolitan Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Self-immolation has a long-standing historical significance as a method of protest, particularly evident during significant periods like the Vietnam War and the Arab Spring in Tunisia. 

The recent incident outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, bears resemblance to a similar event in December when an anonymous person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta as a means of expressing discontent with the ongoing war on Palestine.

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