google-site-verification=0bx1QYafX4YUxAV2RLbOiDD2WzOMRAju_YMPZqdCR1E Aaron Bushnell: American pilot killed in arson near Israeli embassy in Washington

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Aaron Bushnell: American pilot killed in arson near Israeli embassy in Washington

 An American pilot was set on fire and killed in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC.

Police identified the man as Aaron Bushnell, 25, of San Antonio, Texas.

U.S. Secret Service agents extinguished the blaze Sunday afternoon before the man was taken to the hospital.

Before he self-immolated, he declared, ``I will never again participate in genocide.''

In the video posted on the video streaming site Twitch, the man introduced himself and said he was a member of the Air Force.

"We will carry out tough protests," he said. After the arson, he repeatedly shouted, "Liberate Palestine!"

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department said, ``The authenticity of the video has not been confirmed.''

An embassy spokesperson said no embassy staff were injured in the incident.

The accident occurred at 13:00 local time (18:00 Moscow time) on Sunday. A bomb disposal team was sent to the scene following concerns of a suspicious vehicle that may be associated with the man.

It was later declared safe as no harmful substances were detected.

Washington police said officers were working with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the incident.

Mr. Bushnell was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The Air Force did not release details about Bushnell's service, citing its family notification policy.

Before setting himself alight, Mr Bushnell emailed a number of reporters and left-wing and anarchist news websites. The Atlanta Community Press Collective, a group that received the email, provided a copy to the BBC.

"Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people," the email reads, warning it would be "highly disturbing."

The Israel-Gaza war erupted on 7 October last year when Hamas gunmen infiltrated southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking 253 others hostage.

Israel responded by launching a military campaign in Gaza, during which 29,300 people have been killed, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

As of mid-January, 1.9 million civilians in Gaza have been displaced amid Israel's military operations, according to the United Nations, accounting for 85% of its population.

In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the offensive in the face of international criticism, saying America would be "doing a hell of a lot more" if it had suffered such an attack.

It is not the first time someone has set themselves on fire in front of an Israeli diplomatic mission in the US.

In December, a protester self-immolated in front of the Israeli consulate in the US state of Georgia.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, police said.

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