Active-duty Air Force member sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy in DC as ‘extreme’ protest against war in Gaza

News & Politics

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, on Sunday. The man said he was engaging in an “extreme” act of protest against Israel invading Gaza after the Hamas terrorist attack of Oct. 7, 2023.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., the Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3500 block of International Drive, NW, to “assist the United States Secret Service after an individual set themselves on fire in front of an embassy in the block.”

A jarring photo of the man setting himself on fire was posted on the X social media platform. The man is seen wearing fatigues and covered in flames.

Talia Jane, an independent reporter, alleged to have posted the extremely graphic video of the man setting himself on fire – which she claimed to have shared with major media outlets.

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The video begins with Bushnell identifying himself as an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and saying, “I will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

Bushnell says that he is “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, this is not extreme at all.”

Bushnell is seen pouring liquid on his body before lighting himself on fire.

As he’s being burned alive, he repeatedly screams: “Free Palestine!”

Police officers rush to put out the flames engulfing Bushnell.

The man was taken to a local hospital and was said to be in critical condition.

Rose Riley, a spokesperson for the U.S. Air Force, told CNN, “I can confirm an active duty Airman was involved in today’s incident.”

The Metropolitan Police Department, Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the self-immolation incident.

In December, a protester set herself on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia.

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