Advertisement

Man sets himself on fire outside US Israeli embassy and sustains life-threatening injuries

US Secret Service vehicles block access to a street leading to the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC aftera man reportedly set  himself on fire (AFP via Getty Images)
US Secret Service vehicles block access to a street leading to the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC aftera man reportedly set himself on fire (AFP via Getty Images)

A man set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in northwest Washington, DC, officials with the District’s fire department told The Independent.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, officials say. The man was extinguished by members of the uniformed division of the US Secret Service, a public information officer told The Independent.

Officials also requested the Metropolitan Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) because of a “suspicious vehicle that may be connected to the individual,” according to a statement from the department. However, officials cleared the suspicious vehicle and found no hazardous materials, officials later said.

The man has since been transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Independent has contacted the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC for comment.

This incident appears to be the second instance of self-immolation outside an Israeli embassy in recent months. A protester set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, the Associated Press reported in December. Authorities identified a Palestinian flag on the scene, according to the AP.

In recent years, two US climate activists have also died after setting themselves on fire in an act of protest.

In 2018, lawyer David Buckel set himself on fire in Brooklyn, New York’s Prospect Park. He died of his injuries.

Just before his death, he emailed several news outlets explaining his intentions.

“Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” Mr Buckel wrote, The Independent previously reported.

Then, on Earth Day in 2022, climate activist Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire in front of the US Supreme Court. He died of his injuries a day later.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.