A tragic event unfolded at the Israeli embassy in Washington when 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell, a member of the US Air Force, set himself on fire in what he described as an “extreme act of protest” with his last words being “Free Palestine”. He also said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide”.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 29, 000 have been killed since Israel began its genocide in Gaza last October.

In Deember, a protester used petrol to light themself on fire at the Israeli consulate in the US state of Georgia.

Before the act, Bushnell had sent emails to reporters, left-wing, and anarchist news websites, expressing his intent to protest against the alleged genocide of the Palestinian people. A video of the incident was live-streamed on Twitch, where Bushnell, dressed in military uniform, identified himself as an Air Force member.

No embassy staff members were harmed during the incident, according to a spokeswoman. The Pentagon termed the event a “tragic event.” A bomb disposal unit was deployed as a precaution due to concerns about a suspicious vehicle, but it was later declared safe.

The Atlanta Community Press Collective shared a copy of the email received from Bushnell, where he stated his decision to no longer be complicit in what he perceived as genocide. The airman, originally from San Antonio, Texas, had graduated from Air Force basic training in November 2020 and expressed a desire to transition into software engineering.

The Israel-Gaza conflict was referenced in Bushnell’s email, mentioning the events that led to the war and the casualties on both sides.

Authorities in Washington are conducting an investigation into the incident, collaborating with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Air Force did not confirm details of Bushnell’s service, citing family notification policies, but military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported his rank as senior airman.

Israeli genocide in Palestine has received wide condemnation but bodies like the United Nations seem toothless.

Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman


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