Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli Embassy in Washington

Israeli Embassy

WASHINGTON — A man was in critical condition on Sunday after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., authorities said.

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The incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. EST, The Washington Post reported. No one else was injured, according to the newspaper.

U.S. Secret Service officers doused the fire, Vito Maggiolo, a spokesperson for the District of Columbia Fire Department, told The New York Times. The man was taken to an area hospital with injuries that were considered to be life-threatening.

A video shared online, which multiple officials said appeared to be posted by the man, portrays him shouting “Free Palestine” as he burned, the Post reported.

According to the Times, the man appeared to have livestreamed his actions on Twitch, a social media platform. The newspaper was unable to confirm who was behind the Twitch account, but the video featured a man who was walking toward the embassy.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” a man said in the video. “I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest.”

The man placed his cellphone on the ground and filmed himself as he sprayed clear liquid from a metal bottle onto his body, the Times reported.

According to the video, the man burned for approximately one minute and collapsed to the ground, the Post reported. Law enforcement officials stepped in to extinguish the fire.

The man was dressed in military fatigues and claimed to be an active duty officer with the U.S. Air Force, according to the Times.

Ann Stefanek, a spokesperson for the Air Force, said they had not yet identified the man or verified whether he is in the service, the Post reported.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the man was not known to embassy staff members, the Times of Israel reported. No embassy personnel were hurt, Tal Naim, a spokesperson for the embassy, told The New York Times.

An investigation is ongoing, the Post reported.

Police detectives, the Secret Service Uniformed Division and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating, ABC News reported.

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