A US Airman sets himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington

Mandel Nagan/AFP/Getty Images

US Secret Service vehicles block access to the street leading to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC on February 25, 2024.


An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC on Sunday, according to Air Force and local officials.

“The Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3500 block of International Drive, NW, around 1:00 p.m. to assist the U.S. Secret Service after a man set fire to the embassy in the block,” the Washington Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement to CNN.

In a video of the incident, obtained and reviewed by CNN, the man identified himself as Aaron Bushnell, before saying, “I will no longer be an accomplice to genocide,” saying he was going to do little compared to the suffering. of the Palestinians.

He then sets the recording device on the ground before pouring an unknown liquid on himself and igniting it while repeatedly shouting “Free Palestine”. He eventually collapsed as police officers rushed to douse the flames with fire extinguishers.

US Air Force spokesman Ross Riley told CNN, “I can confirm today's incident involved an active duty Airman.”

The man was transported to a local hospital by DC Fire and EMS and is in critical condition, MPD said.

A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy said “no embassy staff were injured and are safe”.

By the time firefighters were dispatched to the scene, the fire had already been extinguished by the U.S. Secret Service, said Vito Maggiolo, public information officer for DC Fire.

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MPD said it is working with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the incident.

In December, A A man set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Atlanta Police said it was an “extreme act of political protest”. A Palestinian flag that was part of the protest was recovered at the scene, and gasoline was used as the accelerant, police and fire officials told reporters at a press conference.

Is Israel Wage war against Hamas in Gaza, after the group's Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, nearly 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza.

This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

CNN Natasha Bertrand, Rafael RomoJaide Timm-Garcia and Shaun Nottingham contributed to this report.

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