Before His Protest Death at the Israeli Embassy, Aaron Bushnell Sent Out a Final Message

( – The war between Israel and Hamas has reportedly left 30,000 Palestinians dead. Critics of the conflict have accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people. An active duty member of the Air Force took his protest against the conflict to a tragic level.

Senior Airman Aaron Bushnell walked up to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, on February 25 at around 1 p.m. local time. Before he went to the embassy, he posted a message on Facebook saying that many people ask themselves what they would have done if they’d been “alive during slavery […] the Jim Crow South […] apartheid?” He asked, “What would I do if my country was committing genocide?”

The 25-year-old active duty airman said Americans are all doing that right now, insinuating that the US is helping Israel carry out the genocide of the Palestinian people.

When Bushnell arrived at the embassy, he made a video, provided people with his name, and said he was in the Air Force. He declared that he wasn’t going to be “complicit in genocide.” He went on to say he was going to “engage in an extreme act of protest” but not nearly as extreme as the conditions the Palestinian people were dealing with because America’s “ruling class has decided will be normal.”

After the airman made his remarks, he walked up the embassy’s driveway, put his phone on the ground, poured a liquid on his body, and then ignited it, lighting himself on fire while yelling “Free Palestine.”

Law enforcement officers believe Bushnell linked to a livestream of his protest on Facebook. The post is no longer available on the social media platform.

The Air Force confirmed the airman died from the severe burns he inflicted on himself. Col. Celina Noyes, the commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing at Fort Meade, Maryland, released a statement calling the incident a “tragedy.” She extended the military’s condolences to Bushnell’s loved ones.

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