Pentagon says actions of US airman who set himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy in DC was ‘tragic event’


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The Pentagon said the actions of a U.S. Air Force member who died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington to protest Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip was “tragic event.”

The airman, identified as 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell of San Antonio, Texas, died after the incident. 

“It certainly is a tragic event,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters. “We do extend our condolences to the airman’s family.”


Ryder referred questions about the incident to local authorities in Washington D.C.

Bushnell lit himself on fire Sunday afternoon in front of the Israeli embassy after livestreaming to Twitch as he approached the building. During the video, he said he “will no longer be complicit in genocide,” The Associated Press reported. 

He then set his phone down and doused himself in accelerant and set himself on fire. The video was removed from the platform but authorities have obtained a copy. 

“The individual involved in yesterday’s incident succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night,” the Air Force said in a statement issued Sunday night.  

The Air Force said it would provide additional information a day after military officials complete notifying his next of kin.

Israel military in Gaza

Fox News Digital has reached out to the military branch. 

The incident occurred as Israel continues its military offensive in southern Gaza. Israel has said its military response to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas is in accordance with international law. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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