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US air force member dies after setting himself on fire in front of Israeli embassy in Washington DC

US Secret Service vehicles block access to a street leading to the Embassy of Israel  (AFP via Getty Images)
US Secret Service vehicles block access to a street leading to the Embassy of Israel (AFP via Getty Images)

A serving member of the US air force has died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, authorities said.

The incident, which was an apparent act of protest against the war in Gaza, took place at around 1pm local time (6pm GMT) on Sunday.

The demonstrator was taken to hospital after the fire was put out by the US Secret Service and other relevant authorities.

The 25-year-old airman, Aaron Bushnell, of San Antonio, Texas, died from his injuries, the Metropolitan Police Department said in an update on Monday.

"I will no longer be complicit in genocide," Mr Bushnell, wearing military fatigues, said 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 NYT reported.

An Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident involved an active duty airman.

The BBC reports that a bomb disposal unit was sent to the site over concerns about a suspicious vehicle that could have been connected to the individual.

But this was later declared safe after no hazardous materials were found.

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 October 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.