Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy in DC

A man is in critical condition after setting himself on fire outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, the D.C. fire department confirmed to The Hill.

The Associated Press, citing an unidentified source, reported late Sunday that the man is an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force who declared that he would “no longer be complicit in genocide.”

D.C. Fire and EMS said units responded just before 1 p.m. Sunday to assist the U.S. Secret Service and discovered an adult man with burn injuries in front of the embassy, located in the 3500 block of International Drive in northwest D.C.

The man was transported to an area hospital with critical and life-threatening injuries, fire officials added.

U.S. Secret Service extinguished the fire before firefighting crews arrived, fire and EMS authorities said. Secret Service told The Hill it had responded to an individual that “was experiencing a possible medical/mental health emergency.”

D.C. Metro Police Department also confirmed the incident and said it is working with the U.S. Secret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in the investigation.

The police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) was also called to the scene for a suspicious vehicle that “may have been connected to the individual,” though the vehicle was later cleared with no hazardous materials found, police said.

The Hill has reached out to the Israeli Embassy for comment.

The incident comes just months after a protestor set themself on fire in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Ga. Police at the time said the incident was likely an “extreme act of political protest.”

Israeli embassies across the globe have drawn protests against Israel’s war with Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza, which has killed over 29,000 people since early October, per the Health Ministry in the enclave. Israel declared war after Hamas’s surprise Oct. 7 assault against the country that killed about 1,200 people and took about 250 people hostage.

Updated on Feb. 26 at 6:39 p.m.

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