Aaron Bushnell dies after setting himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy in US - Hindustan Times
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Aaron Bushnell: US airman dies after setting himself on fire yelling ‘free Palestine’ outside Israeli Embassy in DC

ByArya Vaishnavi
Feb 26, 2024 07:18 PM IST

US Air Force member Aaron Bushnell has reportedly died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC

Aaron Bushnell, an active-duty US Air Force member, has died after he set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. The 25-year-old airman from San Antonio, Texas, repeatedly yelled “free Palestine” during the shocking self-immolation act on Sunday. The Metropolitan Police Department said on Monday that Bushnell died from his injuries, per AP.

Aaron Bushnell, a US Air Force member, who set himself on fire outside the Israel Embassy in Washington, DC has died
Aaron Bushnell, a US Air Force member, who set himself on fire outside the Israel Embassy in Washington, DC has died

US airman dies after setting himself on fire in protest

Bushnell had walked up to the embassy shortly before 1 pm on February 25 and began livestreaming his harrowing protest on Twitch. According to the outlet, law enforcement believes that the airman set up the livestream on his phone and “doused himself in accelerant and ignited the flames.”

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“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” Bushnell said before being engulfed in flames. He repeatedly kept yelling, “Free Palestine,” as he burned while protesting. While the video was later taken down from the streaming platform, authorities have obtained and reviewed a copy.

Before the firefighters arrived at the scene, Bushnell was sprayed with a fire extinguisher. He was then taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries at around 1 pm. Just hours before the horrific protest, Bushnell, who served in the US Air Force for nearly four years, shared his last Facebook post.

“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’re doing it. Right now,” he wrote, along with the link for the Twitch livestream, per New York Post. However, the post was later taken down for violating the platform's community guidelines.

The incident came amid Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking the cabinet's approval for a military operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah while a temporary cease-fire deal is being negotiated, per AP.

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