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US airman sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy in Washington

US airman sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy in Washington
epa10920998 An Israeli flag is seen at the Embassy of Israel in the US in Washington, DC, USA, 15 October 2023. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have died since the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October 2023, leading to Israeli retaliation strikes on the Palestinian enclave. EPA-EFE/BRANDEN CAMP

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - A U.S. military service member set himself on fire, in an apparent act of protest against the war in Gaza, outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The man was transported to an area hospital after the fire was put out by U.S. Secret Service officers, DC Fire and EMS posted online. The man remains in critical condition, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson said Sunday afternoon. An Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident involved a active duty airman.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said the man, wearing military fatigues, in a video he broadcasted live over the internet, according to the New York Times.

He then doused himself in a clear liquid and set himself on fire, screaming “Free Palestine,” the Times reported.

Local police and Secret Service are investigating the incident.

Israel’s embassy has been the target of continued protest against the war in Gaza. The war in Gaza has led to pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protests in the United States. The protests started after Oct. 7 when Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that rules Gaza, killed 1,200 Israelis and seized 253 hostages in a cross-border attack.

Since then, Israeli forces have waged a military campaign against the coastal enclave, laying much of it to waste, with nearly 30,000 people dead, according to Palestinian health officials.

In December, a protester set herself on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman and Idrees Ali; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft)

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