US airman lights self on fire outside Israeli Embassy so he wouldn't be 'complicit in genocide'

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. | Wikimedia Commons/APK,_D.C.jpg

An active-duty U.S. Air Force member who set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington and yelled "Free Palestine" in protest of the Israel-Hamas war has died. 

Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Bushnell of San Antonio, Texas, filmed himself as he doused his body in a clear liquid and lit himself on fire in a video posted to Twitch. The man was later taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

An Air Force spokesperson informed CBS News on Monday that the man died on Sunday night. Bushnell had set himself on fire around 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, with police and U.S. Secret Service both responding to the incident. 

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

In a statement to CBS News, the Israeli Embassy confirmed that none of its staff members had been injured as a result of the protest. While the police also investigated what was described as a "suspicious vehicle" potentially connected to the protester, authorities cleared the vehicle later that afternoon. 

A video provided by independent journalist Talia Jane showed Bushnell wearing fatigues and declaring that he would "no longer be complicit in genocide." The man identified himself in the video as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He repeatedly shouted, "Free Palestine!" after setting himself on fire. 

Bushnell's Twitch channel has since been removed, according to CBS News. 

The war began after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7 and killed at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians. 

In response, Israel declared itself in a state of war and launched an offensive in Gaza to eradicate Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, and secure the release of the over 240 individuals it took hostage. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says that nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began but doesn't differentiate between combatants and civilians. The Israel Defense Forces state they have killed over 12,000 operatives in Gaza along with 1,000 terrorists inside Israel, according to The Times of Israel.  

The Air Force member is not the first protester to set himself on fire in response to the Israel-Hamas war. As CNN reported in December, a protester set himself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta.

According to Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, the action was "likely an extreme act of political protest," with authorities recovering a Palestinian flag at the scene. 

Bushnell setting himself on fire outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., follows the United States' veto of a United Nations resolution demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war for a third time last Tuesday. 

The vote was 13-1 among the 15-member Security Council, with the United Kingdom abstaining. 

The Biden administration cited concerns about the resolution potentially interfering with efforts to arrange a deal that would result in a six-week halt and the release of all hostages, The Times of Israel reported.  

Ahead of the vote, the U.S. put forth another resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire intended to secure the release of the hostages and lift restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

"We still don't believe that this is the right time for a general ceasefire that leaves Hamas in control and alleviates any responsibility for them to release the hostages," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters after the vote. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles