American soldier sets himself on fire in protest of Israel's war in Gaza

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An American soldier is in critical condition after setting himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, authorities said. Media reports said he took the desperate step in protest of the war in the Gaza Strip.

First responders rushed to the scene shortly before 1:00 p.m. (local time) after a call for a "man engulfed in flames in front of the Israeli embassy," the U.S. capital's fire department explained via X (formerly Twitter).

When they arrived, they found that members of the Secret Service - the agency that protects high-ranking officials and foreign diplomatic missions - had extinguished the fire.

The man was rushed to a hospital with "serious life-threatening injuries," the same source said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Air Force confirmed to the French Press Agency that the man was currently serving in the military, but did not provide further details.

For its part, the Israeli embassy said that none of its staff were injured in the incident and that the American soldier was "unknown" to them.

Images broadcast live on the Twitch platform show him, in military uniform, declaring that he "will not be an accomplice to genocide," dousing himself with flammable liquid and setting himself on fire shouting "Free Palestine!" until he falls to the ground.

The French Press Agency was unable to immediately verify the footage independently. The New York Times reported that the video was removed from the platform.

The self-immolation comes as protests and demonstrations multiply in the United States against Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the unprecedented Hamas attack on its territory on October 7.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024