US Airman Dies in Israel-Hamas War Protest After Setting Himself on Fire Outside the Israeli Embassy

After he set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., claiming that he “will no longer be complicit in genocide,” an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has passed away.

The Metropolitan Police Department said on Monday that Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old airman from San Antonio, Texas, had passed away from his wounds.

Bushnell started livestreaming on Twitch, a video streaming site, just before 1 p.m. on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke with The Associated Press. Authorities investigating the matter assert that he put down his phone, doused himself with accelerant, and lit the fire. He once declared that he “will no longer be complicit in genocide,” according to the source.

According to a law enforcement official, investigators think Bushnell was lodging at the Travelodge in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was searched by federal authorities on Monday. That official, who also talked to the AP under the condition of anonymity, was not authorized to publicly discuss any aspects of the probe.

“The individual involved in yesterday’s incident succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night,” the Air Force said in a statement on Monday.

Bushnell was assigned to the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio as a cyber defense operations expert, the Air Force announced later on Monday. He began his active duty assignment in May 2020.

The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing Commander, Col. Celina Noyes, stated:

On Monday night, protesters staged a vigil for Bushnell in front of the Israeli embassy.

The incident took place while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was requesting cabinet approval for a military operation in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, in the midst of negotiations for a provisional cease-fire agreement. However, Israel’s military assault in Gaza has come under fire, with some even accusing the Palestinians of genocide.

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