Air Force Member Sets Himself On Fire Outside Of Israeli Embassy In DC

By Jason Hall

February 26, 2024

An active duty member of the United States Air Force died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. during an apparent protest of the Israel-Hamas war Sunday (February 25), a U.S. official confirmed to NBC News.

The Air Force said it was continuing the next of kin notification on Monday (February 26), so it wouldn't release the person's identity until 24 hours after the process was completed. Local police had previously confirmed the incident in a statement to CNN Sunday night.

“The Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3500 block of International Drive, NW, at approximately 1:00 p.m., to assist the United States Secret Service after an individual set themselves on fire in front of an embassy in the block,” the department said.

A video obtained and reviewed by CNN showed a man identifying himself as Aaron Bushnell claiming he would "no longer be complicit in genocide" before lighting himself on fire, which he said was less extreme than the suffering of the Palestinian people. The man was taken to the hospital and treated for life-threatening injuries prior to being declared dead.

The Embassy of Israel to the United States said no staff members were injured during the incident, which took place four months after the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people -- the majority of which were civilians -- and taking an estimated 240 hostages.

Nearly 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel announced its retaliation plans, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry via NBC News.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to for additional resources.

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