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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

A protester self-immolates outside the Israeli consulate building in Atlanta on Friday

Demonstrator sustained third-degree burns, and guard who tried to intervene was burned on his wrist and leg

Colbi Edmonds New York Published 03.12.23, 07:05 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

A protester self-immolated on Friday afternoon outside the Israeli consulate building in Atlanta, in what police described as “likely an extreme act of political protest”.

A security guard tried to intervene but was unsuccessful, officials said. The demonstrator sustained third-degree burns, and the guard was burned on his wrist and leg. Both were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where the protester was in critical condition.

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Officials did not identify the demonstrator but said in a news conference Friday that the person appeared to be acting alone and that a Palestinian flag was “recovered at the location and was part of the protest.” The fire chief, Roderick M. Smith, said there was evidence of gasoline being used as an accelerant.

Authorities did not offer any other insights into the person’s possible motive for self-immolating. The city’s police chief, Darin Schierbaum, said that officials did not believe there was “any nexus to terrorism”. Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the southeastern United States, described the act as an expression of “hate and incitement towards Israel”.

“The sanctity of life is our highest value,” she said in a statement on Friday. “Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act.” The self-immolation occurred outside a building, in the midtown area of Atlanta that houses the consulate and several other offices. “It appears to have been focused outside the building. I’m not aware of an attempt to enter the building,” Schierbaum said.

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