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News > Palestine

'Free Palestine' Shouts US Soldier as He Immolates Himself

  • U.S. soldier Aaron Bushnell, Washington DC, Feb. 25, 2024.

    U.S. soldier Aaron Bushnell, Washington DC, Feb. 25, 2024. | Photo: X/ @mhdksafa

Published 26 February 2024

In December 2023, Rachel Corrie also blew herself up in protest against the genocide in Gaza.

On Sunday afternoon, an active-duty US soldier immolated himself in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington to protest against the genocide in Palestine.


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In a video posted on social media, 25-year-old soldier Aaron Bushnell is seen dousing himself with flammable liquid and setting himself on fire until engulfed in flames. While he performs this act that would lead to his death, the US soldier shouts "Free Palestine."

"I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonisers, it’s not extreme at all. Free Palestine!," he said in the video.

"Many of us like to ask ourselves, 'What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?' The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now," Bushnell posted on X hours before immolating himself.

The Metropolitan Police of Washington responded immediately to the incident. The U.S. Air Force confirmed that a member of its ranks had been involved in the incident but did not provide further details.

The fire department and emergency services indicated that Bushnell was rushed to the hospital with "critical" injuries. The U.S. soldier died a few hours later.

In recent weeks, opposition to the Israeli offensive in Gaza has spread across the United States, where human rights activists demand an immediate ceasefire.

"This isn't the first incident of self immolation in the U.S. over the ongoing Gaza war. In December, a protester set herself on fire outside Atlanta’s Israeli Consulate," the Industan Times recalled, referring to Rachel Corrie, a peace activist who also chose self-sacrifice as an extreme form of protest.

"Many in the United States are angry over Biden administration's ‘insensitive stand’ with the nation vetoing a ceasefire resolution at United Nations Security Council on several occasions," it added.

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