Tragedy Unfolds as US Airman Self-Immolates in Protest Against Gaza War
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

WASHINGTON – A US Air Force member tragically died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington over the weekend, the Air Force confirmed on Monday. The shocking act serves as an alarming escalation in protests across the United States against Israel’s actions in the ongoing war in Gaza, which the US supports in response to a Hamas attack on October 7.

Emergency responders swiftly arrived at the scene on Sunday following a distress call reporting a person on fire outside the Israeli Embassy. The unnamed airman had recorded himself shouting “Free Palestine” while igniting the flames, as seen in footage circulating on social media.

Despite being rushed to the hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries, the Air Force spokeswoman announced on Monday morning that the airman had succumbed to his injuries on Sunday night. Fortunately, no embassy staff were harmed in the incident, according to an embassy spokesperson.

In the disturbing video, the airman, clad in military fatigues, vehemently declared his refusal to be “complicit in genocide.” The footage showed him dousing himself in a flammable liquid, setting himself ablaze, and fervently shouting “Free Palestine!” until collapsing.

With the Gaza death toll nearing 30,000, as reported by the Hamas-run health ministry, international pressure on the United States to intervene and call for a ceasefire has intensified. The conflict originated from an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,160 people in Israel, predominantly civilians.

Despite growing calls for intervention, Washington recently blocked a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate Gaza ceasefire, marking the third such veto on the matter. In response, some members of Joe Biden’s Democratic Party are pressing the president on the issue, with Arab American voters in Michigan pledging to vote “uncommitted” or write in “Free Palestine” on their ballots in the state’s upcoming primary.

The White House attempts to address concerns among Arab and Muslim voters by portraying President Biden as frustrated with Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. However, the flow of US weapons to Israel since October 7 and unsuccessful attempts to broker a second pause in fighting have fueled domestic discontent.

In a recent update on multinational talks, the United States indicated an “understanding” on a potential deal for Hamas to release hostages and implement a new ceasefire in the Gaza war. While domestic demonstrations have typically been peaceful, this tragic incident mirrors a similar act outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta in December.

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