US airman who set himself on fire outside Israeli embassy died

Aaron Bushnell, who set himself on fire, expressed his desire to avoid being "complicit in genocide."

In a shocking incident, an active member of the US Air Force set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, on Sunday afternoon, February 25, in an act of protest’ against the ‘genocide’ in the Gaza Strip has reportedly succumbed to his wounds. 

25-year-old Aaron Bushnell said before setting himself on fire that, “I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonisers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

According to media reports, he live-streamed the incident on Twitch, which later removed the video due to policy violations.

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A video clip of the incident has been widely shared on social media platforms and shows Bushnell dousing himself in gasoline while shouting “Freedom for Palestine” over and over until he stopped breathing.

The video also shows law enforcement officers approaching him before a fire broke out. One could be heard saying to Bushnell, “Can I help you?” “Lie on the ground,” while the other officer says, “We need a fire extinguisher, not a gun.”

“The MPD responded to the 3500 block of International Drive, NW, at approximately 1:00 p.m., to assist the United States Secret Service after an individual set themselves on fire in front of an embassy in the block,” the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said in a post on X.

The statement added that an “adult male” was then taken to the hospital where he remained “in critical condition”.

It also investigated a suspicious vehicle near the scene but no hazardous materials were found.

Prior to his intended self-immolation, Bushnell allegedly sent a message to media outlets. “Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people,” he warned.

He is not the first to protest extreme measures, particularly since the Gaza war began when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023.

In December 2023, a protester burned himself in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, in what police said was “most likely an act of extremist political protest.”

While the war in Gaza led to the outbreak of pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protests in the US.

The protests began when the Israeli forces began their aggression against the Gaza Strip on October 7, resulting in the destruction of a significant portion and the deaths of nearly 30,000 people, primarily women and children.

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