Israel Says It Has Evacuation Plan for Gaza’s Combat Areas: Live Updates

The protester filmed his self-immolation in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington.Credit…Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

An airman who had set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington in protest of civilian deaths in Gaza died of his injuries on Sunday night, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force, Rose M. Riley, said on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington identified the man as Aaron Bushnell, 25, of San Antonio. A U.S. Air Force spokeswoman, Ann Stefanek, had confirmed on Sunday night that he was an active-duty airman.

Mr. Bushnell appeared to have filmed the protest on Sunday and livestreamed it on the social media platform Twitch. The New York Times could not confirm who was behind the account that posted the video, but the footage matched the details of the incident released by the police.

A man dressed in fatigues identifies himself in the video as Mr. Bushnell and calls himself an active-duty Air Force officer. A LinkedIn profile matching Mr. Bushnell’s name describes him as an “aspiring software engineer” and an active-duty airman for nearly four years.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” a man says in the video, echoing language that opponents of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza have used to describe the war. “I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all.”

Standing in front of the gates of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, he sets his phone down to douse himself in a clear liquid from a metal bottle. He then lights himself on fire while yelling, “Free Palestine!” until he falls to the ground.

The video shows law enforcement officers approaching him seconds before the fire catches. One is heard off-camera saying: “Can I help you, sir?” The officers scramble for more than a minute to put out the flames.

Officers with the U.S. Secret Service were the first to respond at the embassy, in northwestern Washington, around 1 p.m., said Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman with the city’s fire department. Mr. Bushnell was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The New York Times viewed the video before Twitch removed it on Sunday afternoon, replacing it with a message saying that the channel violated the platform’s guidelines. It was the only video posted to the account, which had a Palestinian flag as its header image.

No staff members of the Israeli Embassy were injured, according to Tal Naim, a spokeswoman for the embassy.

Officers with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were still working with Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department to investigate the incident, the authorities said on Monday.

Protests against Israel have become a near-daily occurrence across the country since Israel began its military offensive in Gaza after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed at least 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. More than 29,000 people have been killed in the war in Gaza, according to the Gaza health ministry.

As international calls for a cease-fire have grown and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has deepened, the Israeli Embassy has been the site of protests that have sometimes resulted in arrests — but seldom in violence.

In December, a protester self-immolated in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta in what police said was “likely an extreme act of political protest.”