Air Force Member Sets Himself on Fire Outside Israeli Embassy, Dies

( – A shocking scene broke out in Washington, D.C., on Sunday in front of the Israeli Embassy after an active-duty US Air Force (USAF) member set himself on fire, later succumbing to his injuries in the hospital.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, a man identified as 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell, an active duty member of the Air Force, burned himself alive in front of the Israeli Embassy in front of the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Around 1 PM, Bushnell started livestreaming on Twitch under the name “LillyAnarKitty” and approached the embassy. He identified himself in the video, confirmed he was an active-duty member of the USAF, and said he “will no longer be complicit in genocide.” Bushnell then warned viewers that he was “about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” which he said is “not extreme at all” compared to what Palestinians in the Gaza Strip “have been experiencing” at the hands of Israelis, who he described as “colonizers.”

After setting his phone down, he stood in front of the embassy gates, doused himself with an unknown flammable substance, placed his military cover on his head, and then lit himself on fire. As the fire quickly spread over his body, engulfing his military uniform, Bushnell screamed “Free Palestine” multiple times before he began to scream, his flaming cover falling off his head. Security and law enforcement quickly rushed onto the scene, ordering Bushnell to the ground and attacking the fire with extinguishers as he collapsed.

Bushnell was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries and died.

Earlier the same day, he shared the link to his Twitch stream alongside a message on Facebook, and the Post Millennial reported that Bushnell also followed various anarchist activism Facebook groups. According to his LinkedIn page, he was planning to “transition out” of the Air Force and “into software engineering.”

An anarchist media outlet called Anarchist Federation also reported that someone identifying themselves as Bushnell sent them a link to the Twitch stream with a message warning them that the footage of his protest would be “highly disturbing” and requesting that they “make sure… the footage is preserved and reported on.” Bushnell’s Twitch page featured a Palestinian flag alongside an anarchist symbol.

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