Aaron Bushnell, the pilot who burned himself in front of the Israeli embassy on February 25, 2024 (social media sites)

A US Air Force soldier holding the rank of pilot set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington on February 25, 2024, in protest and condemnation of the war on the Gaza Strip that began on October 8, 2023 and led to many massacres committed by the Israeli occupation against... Civilians in the sector.

Birth and upbringing

Aaron Bushnell was born in 1999, in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He attended public schools on the Cape Cadd Peninsula in Massachusetts.

Professional experience

The US Air Force said in a statement that Bushnell was a specialist in electronic defense operations and intelligence support at the Joint Base 531 in San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

He became an active member of the Air Force in May 2020, working in the Information Technology and Development Operations Department.

He had written on LinkedIn that he was looking forward to moving from the US Air Force to software engineering.

He was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

The Stars and Stripes military newspaper reported that he held the rank of pilot and had moved to Ohio in early 2024 to attend a course for service members transitioning from the military.

Before the accident

A friend of Bushnell said he had spoken to him about two weeks before the incident about general matters, but he had not mentioned anything about self-immolation or his intention to do anything violent.

But the day before the accident, Bushnell sent his friend a letter in which he said: “I hope you understand, I love you, and this may not make sense, but I feel like I will miss you,” and gave his neighbor a cat that he owned.

Other friends of his from San Antonio said they had spoken with Bushnell about the Palestinians and shared their common distaste for the US role in the Israeli war on Gaza, but he had given them no indication of what he was planning on February 25, 2024.

Another friend of his, Pierpont, said that by 2024, Bushnell had become more open about his objections to the military. In the wake of the killing of the young African American George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis in 2020, Bushnell told him that he had begun researching the history of the United States and wanted to take a stand. Against all state-sanctioned violence.

He also said that Bushnell considered leaving the Army early, but decided that he was close enough to the end of his required service that he was scheduled to leave the Army in May 2024.

He added that he intended to find a job that would allow him to earn enough money to live and engage in political activity.

Pierpont said he encouraged his friend to go to university and get a degree in a field related to his beliefs.

In front of the Israeli embassy

After sending his will to his friend, Bushnell doused himself with a flammable liquid and set his body on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2024. He published the event via a live broadcast on social media platforms.

Moments before he set himself on fire, he declared that he did not want to be complicit in genocide. While he was burning, he was repeating, “Free Palestine.” Security forces intervened to try to save him and extinguished the fire. He was then transported by ambulance to the hospital, and his condition was critical.

Aaron Bushnell died 7 hours after the accident in hospital as a result of severe burns.

Source: websites