Airman Dies After Setting Himself on Fire at Israeli Embassy

This story has been updated to reflect that the Airman involved has since died.

An Active-Duty Airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy on Feb. 25, the Air Force confirmed to Air & Space Forces Magazine. The man was taken to a local hospital and was in critical condition, the Washington D.C. Police Department wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The Air Force said in an email on Feb. 26 that he “succumbed to his injuries and passed away” overnight. The service said it will provide more details 24 hours after next of kin notifications are complete.

An online video of the incident showed the man wearing a military uniform and shouting ‘free Palestine,’ as he burned, multiple outlets reported. The incident took place at around 1 p.m., according to D.C. police, who are investigating the incident along with the U.S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

A D.C. police explosive ordnance disposal team was also called to investigate a suspicious vehicle at the scene, but it was cleared after no hazardous materials were found.

The incident took place a day after American and British military aircraft struck targets in Yemen in an effort to weaken the Houthis, an Iran-backed rebel group that has attacked commercial shipping off the coast of Yemen since November. Iran-backed militia groups across the Middle East began lashing out after Israel invaded the Gaza strip in October in response to attacks by Hamas earlier that month. About 1,200 people were killed in the initial attack by Hamas, and the death toll since then in Gaza is approaching 30,000.

U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan have been attacked more than 165 times since Oct. 17. The U.S. has responded with a series of airstrikes, including a round that struck 85 targets in Iraq and Syria earlier this month after three troops were killed in Jordan. The U.S. has also supplied Israel with weapons and military equipment. In protest, activists have staged multiple demonstrations at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., a key military airlift installation. U.S. officials say they want to support both Israelis and Palestinians.

“We don’t have to choose between defending Israel and aiding Palestinian civilians,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in an op-ed in October. “We can and must do both.”