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Airman dies after setting himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy

A Secret Service police vehicle parked outside of the Israeli Embassy Associated Press/Photo by Mark Schiefelbein

Airman dies after setting himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy

The active-duty airman lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington on Sunday afternoon during an internet livestream to protest the war in Gaza. Fire and EMS were called to the scene around 1 p.m. to find that the Secret Service had already extinguished the fire. The airman “succumbed to his injuries” later that night, Air Force Major Annabel Monroe said in a statement to WORLD. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident with the Secret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

How was the protest linked to the war in Gaza? The man on the video stream viewed by WORLD said he was “about to engage in an extreme act of protest” because he would “no longer be complicit in genocide.” The man poured a clear liquid over his head and lit the leg of his uniform on fire, before screaming “Free Palestine” while being engulfed in flames. The airman identified himself as Aaron Bushnell during the livestream.

Dig deeper: Read Sharon Dierberger’s report in WORLD Magazine on clashes over pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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