72°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

In Israel-Hamas war protest, US airman dies after setting himself ablaze

WASHINGTON — An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., while declaring that he “will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

The 25-year-old airman, Aaron Bushnell, of San Antonio, Texas, died from his injuries, the Metropolitan Police Department said Monday.

Bushnell had walked up to the embassy shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday and began livestreaming on the video streaming platform Twitch, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Law enforcement officials believe the man started a livestream, set his phone down and then doused himself in accelerant and ignited the flames. At one point, he said he “will no longer be complicit in genocide,” the person said. The video was later removed from the platform, but law enforcement officials have obtained and reviewed a copy.

The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

In a statement Monday, the Air Force said, “The individual involved in yesterday’s incident succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night.” The Air Force said it would provide additional information a day after military officials complete notifying his next of kin.

The incident happened as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet approval for a military operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah while a temporary cease-fire deal is being negotiated. Israel’s military offensive in Gaza has drawn criticisms, including genocide claims against the Palestinians.

Israel has adamantly denied the genocide allegations and says it is carrying out operations in accordance with international law in the Israel-Hamas war.

In December, a person self-immolated outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta and used gasoline as an accelerant, according to Atlanta’s fire authorities. A Palestinian flag was found at the scene, and the act was believed to be one of “extreme political protest.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Israel, Ukraine aid gains Biden’s support; Johnson fights to keep job

Republican Speaker Johnson, facing a choice between losing his job and funding Ukraine, notified lawmakers earlier that he would forge ahead for votes on the package later this week.

Disneyland expansion plan gets key approval from Anaheim City Council

Visitors to Disney’s California parks could one day walk through the snow-covered hamlet of Arendelle from “Frozen” or the bustling, critter-filled metropolis of “Zootopia” under a park expansion plan approved by the Anaheim City Council.

Saudis, UAE warn of war dangers as Israel-Iran tensions boil

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called for maximum “self-restraint” in the Middle East to spare the region “from the dangers of war and its dire consequences” in a frank joint statement Wednesday.

Lawmakers seek to strengthen fight against antisemitism in US

Almost nine in 10 Jewish respondents said there was more discrimination against them since the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

House speaker pushes ahead on US aid for Israel, allies

Mike Johnson referred to himself as a “wartime speaker” of the House and indicated in his strongest self-defense yet he would press forward with a U.S. national security aid package.

Israeli military displays intercepted Iranian missile

It was the first time Iran has launched a direct military strike on Israel after decades of enmity going back to Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.