US airman sets himself on fire outside Israel embassy to protest Gaza ‘genocide’

US airman

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (APP): An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, in an apparent protest against Israel’s ongoing genocidal war against Gaza.

Police identified the deceased demonstrator as 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell, whose identity and death were first reported on social media by independent journalist Talia Jane.

Bushnell, who was wearing fatigues on Sunday in Washington, was a DevOps engineer based in San Antonio, Texas, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Media reports said emergency responders rushed to the scene in response to a call for person on fire outside the Israeli embassy. They arrived to find that officers from the US Secret Service had already extinguished the fire.
Reports said Bushnell livestreamed himself on Twitch, wearing fatigues and declaring he would not be complicit in genocide before dousing himself in liquid.

He then lit himself on fire while chanting “Free Palestine” until he fell to the ground.

The footage has since been removed from Twitch. Local police said they are investigating the incident.
The police also said an explosive ordinance disposal was requested to the scene in relation to a suspicious vehicle that may be connected to the individual. It later said that no hazardous material was found Israel’s embassy has been the target of continued protest against the Israeli war on Gaza. The protests started after October 7. Since then, Israeli forces have waged a military campaign against the coastal enclave, laying much of it to waste, with nearly 30,000 Palestinians dead, mostly women and children, according to Palestinian health officials.

In December, a protester set herself on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta,Georgia. A Palestinian flag was found at the scene, and the act was believed to be one of ‘extreme political protest’.
Bushnell reportedly sent a message to media outlets before his self-immolation. Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people, he warned.

On Facebook Sunday morning, he also wrote: Many of us like to ask ourselves, What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide? The answer is, you are doing it. Right now. The post included a link to a live-stream of his protest on the web-broadcasting platform Twitch, which took down the video for violations of its community guidelines and terms of service.
I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, the airman repeated, in footage reviewed by TIME, as he walked toward the driveway of the Israeli embassy. 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.

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