U.S. Air Force Member Dies After Setting Himself on Fire Outside Israeli Embassy in Washington


An active member of the United States Air Force lost his life after setting himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., while declaring, "I will no longer be complicit in genocide."

The individual identified as 25-year-old Airman Aaron Bushnell, originally from San Antonio, Texas, succumbed to his injuries, as reported by the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday.

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The tragic incident occurred on Sunday when Bushnell approached the embassy and began livestreaming on the Twitch platform, according to a source familiar with the matter. Authorities believe that the man initiated the livestream, placed his phone on the ground, doused himself with a flammable substance, and set himself on fire. At one point, he stated, "I will no longer be complicit in genocide."

Although the video was removed from the platform, law enforcement agencies obtained a copy for review. Investigators note that Bushnell was staying at a Travelodge hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was searched by federal agents on Monday.

The Air Force issued a statement on Monday confirming that "the individual involved in yesterday's incident succumbed to his injuries and died last night." Hours later, it was reported that Bushnell was a cybersecurity operations specialist in the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio and had been on active duty since May 2020.

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Colonel Celina Noyes, commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, expressed condolences: "When a tragedy like this occurs, all members of the Air Force feel it. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Airman Bushnell."

The tragic situation comes at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks approval for a military operation in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, while a ceasefire agreement is being negotiated. Israel's military offensive in Gaza has faced criticism and accusations of genocide against Palestinians.

The Israeli government has denied allegations of genocide, asserting that its operations against Hamas comply with international law. It's worth noting that in December of last year, another person carried out a similar act outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta as an "extreme political protest."