Airman Dead after Self-Immolation Protest in Front of Embassy

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( – A member of the U.S. Air Force committed what he dubbed an “extreme act of protest” against Israel’s military actions in Gaza by setting himself ablaze on Sunday, February 25th. Aaron Bushnell, 25, approached the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. just before 1 pm and began broadcasting his actions via the livestreaming service, Twitch.

Bushnell is reported to have identified himself by name and confirmed that he was an active member of the U.S. Airforce, as well as sharing his negative view of Israel’s ongoing offensive against Hamas which began shortly after Hamas terrorists breached the Israeli border on October 7th, 2023, and massacred 1200 people.

Bushnell referred to Israel’s brutal counter-offensive as “genocide” and declared that he would no longer be complicit in such actions before pouring flammable liquid over himself and setting himself on fire. The footage was circulated online, although it was later taken down by Twitch for violating its content policy. During the course of the recording, authorities from the embassy can be seen trying to help the man as he burned, telling him to drop to the ground and trying to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. First responders arrived quickly and took him to hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Bushnell had been employed by the Air Force as a cyber defense specialist in the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing (ISR). ISR commander, Col Celina Noyes, released a statement in which she extended sympathy to Bushnell’s family and asked that their privacy be respected. Nobody else was injured in the course of Bushnell’s suicide.

While Bushnell and other critics of Israel have called military action in Gaza genocidal in nature, deploring the desperate conditions Gazans are experiencing and citing the 30,000-strong death toll as cited by the terrorist group Hamas, Israeli authorities have stated that they are acting within the rule of international law and taking efforts to forewarn civilian populations of incoming strikes to encourage evacuation. The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that it aims to destroy Hamas and its extensive subterranean infrastructure completely to prevent any repeats of the October 7th massacres, which Hamas leaders have sworn to carry out again.

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