US Air Force officer sets himself on fire outside Israel embassy to protest genocide; raises ‘Free Palestine’ slogan

News Network
February 26, 2024

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An active member of the United States military has set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, according to officials, in an apparent act of protest against Israel’s devastating war on Gaza.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was rushed to the hospital on Sunday with “critical life-threatening injuries”, according to the US capital’s fire department.

The agency said emergency responders rushed to the scene just before 1pm (18:00 GMT) in response to a “call for person on fire outside the Israeli embassy”.

They arrived to find that officers from the US Secret Service had already extinguished the fire.

The US Air Force said that the incident involved an active duty airman.

US media reported that the man livestreamed himself on Twitch, wearing fatigues and declaring he would “not be complicit in genocide” before dousing himself in liquid.

He then lit himself on fire while yelling “Free Palestine!” until he fell to the ground.

The footage has since been removed from Twitch. Local police said they are investigating the incident.

The police also said an explosive ordinance disposal was requested to the scene in relation to a suspicious vehicle that may be connected to the individual. It later said that no hazardous material was found.

The Israeli embassy said that none of its staff members were injured, and all personnel have been confirmed to be safe, a spokesperson told the New York Times.

Israel’s embassy has been the target of continued protest against the Israeli war on Gaza. The protests started after October 7 when Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza, responded to Israeli barbarism though violent attack. 

Since then, Israeli forces have waged a brutal military campaign against the coastal enclave, laying much of it to waste, with nearly 30,000 people dead, according to Palestinian health officials.

In December, a protester set herself on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta. A Palestinian flag was found at the scene, and the act was believed to be one of “extreme political protest”.

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said his party is in a comfortable position as there is no 'Modi wave' in the state.

He claimed that the BJP did nothing in the state during its four years rule and did not fulfill any of its promises.

"Congress is in a very comfortable position as far as Karnataka is concerned. There is no Modi wave in Karnataka because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not left any footprint in Karnataka during the last 10 years of his rule," Shivakumar said in an exclusive interview to PTI.

He said while crores of rupees had been collected as taxes from Karnataka by the Union government, the state did not get anything in return, even during the severe drought being faced in 230 out of 236 taluks.

On BJP fielding noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath against his brother and three-time MP D K Suresh in Bengaluru Rural constituency, Shivakumar claimed that Congress will win with a victory margin of over two lakh votes.

Regarding the BJP-JD(S) electoral tie-up in Karnataka, Shivakumar said it is a failed alliance and the people will reject them.

"(H D) Kumaraswamy (JD(S) leader and NDA's Mandya candidate) and all the JDS candidates will lose," he claimed.

On Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly levelling corruption charge against him, Shivakumar said it was a political allegation against him.

"There is nothing against me, they can’t prove anything. These are baseless allegations against me," Shivakumar added.

Shivakumar denied any dissent in the party over ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha polls stating that the entire Congress party is united.

"There is no dissent and within 24 hours we will sort it out. But in BJP, the party is burning from within. The BJP workers are going to kill the BJP itself. The BJP has changed (candidates) in around 10 seats and they know that they are losing in the campaigns," he said.

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News Network
April 13,2024

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Mysuru, Apr 13: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be visiting Mysuru on Sunday, is welcome in the state.

"Let him come and go. He is the PM. But he should tell people about what he has done to the people of Karnataka. Let him answer about the injustice done by the Union Government towards the state in terms of giving tax share, not releasing drought relief funds yet and also about the unemployment issue," he said.

The Chief Minister was speaking to media people near his residence at Sharadadevi Nagar in Mysuru on Saturday.

Reacting to a question on BJP's slogan, 'Teesri Baar Modi Sarkar, Ab Ki Baar Char Sau Paar' (Modi government for the third time with over 400 seats), CM Siddaramaiah said, "This slogan is only a strategy to divert the minds of people. Because, according to me, the NDA will not get an absolute majority/simple majority this time in the Parliament elections."

"I.N.D.I.A. bloc and the parties which are against BJP will get a majority in the Lok Sabha polls," he said.

Responding to the statement of BJP leaders that 'even if B R Ambedkar comes, the Indian Constitution cannot be changed', Siddaramaiah said, "BJP is always against the Indian Constitution. Savarkar and the second Chief of RSS M S Golwalkar both opposed the Indian Constitution written by Baba Saheb B R Ambedkar on January 26, 1950."

"When BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde spoke about changing the Indian Constitution twice, why wasn't he punished? Why wasn't he suspended from the party? Why didn't they drop him from the cabinet?"

"Hegde was not given a ticket for the LS polls, as he had not done any work in the five years and was only active for the last three-four months of his term. The reason Hegde was not given a ticket was because BJP had realised that he would lose the elections, and not because of his statement related to the Constitution" the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile, regarding the nabbing of the two key suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said, "I thank the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and also the Karnataka police for tracing and arresting the accused in the case, in Kolkata."

"They will be brought to Bengaluru and further information related to the case will be known after their interrogation," he said.

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News Network
April 7,2024

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Israel's relentless aggression against the Gaza Strip has now stretched over six months, and shows no sign of abating despite international calls for a ceasefire.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of violence against Palestinians.

At that time, the Israeli regime said attacking Gaza had two goals: eliminating Hamas and bringing back the hostages taken by the resistance group to Gaza. None of them have been achieved so far.

About 130 of the 250 Israeli captives taken during Operation Al-Aqsa Storm are still in Gaza after a provisional truce deal in December saw the exchange of a number of prisoners between the two sides.

Death toll

The conflict in Gaza has taken a devastating toll on Palestinians, with over 33,200 people, including 13,800 children, having lost their lives in 180 days of war, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

On top of that, around 76,000 people have been wounded – about four out of every 100 people in Gaza. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said this week some 1,000 children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs.

A record-breaking 176 UN staff members and seven foreign aid workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

The Israeli army has killed the largest number of journalists of any modern conflict and detained more than 24. More than 140 journalists have been killed during the six months of war in the Israeli military's raids, bombardments and missile attacks across the Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has worsened day by day as the Israeli army continues to prevent aid from reaching the region, resulting in starvation being utilized as a tactic of warfare as over a million are at risk of starvation, with international groups warning of an “imminent” famine.

At least 27 Palestinians have already died from malnutrition and dehydration, according to international NGOs.

Displacement

More than 80 percent of Gaza’s population (Over 1.9 million Palestinians) have been intentionally displaced as the Israeli military ordered Palestinians to “go south” from the start of the war.

Some 1.4 million people are believed to be sheltering in Rafah, a small city on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt which is being bombarded by the Israeli forces every day as they have left no safe zone for the Palestinians to live.

Infrastructure damage

The estimated $18.5 billion in damage has affected public service infrastructure, resulting in 26 million tons of debris and rubble.

Over 290,000 housing units, equivalent to 62 percent of all homes in Gaza, have been damaged or destroyed by the war, leaving more than a million people homeless.

Only a fraction of hospitals, 10 out of 36, are operational following severe damage, leading to overwhelming strain on their limited resources.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, has been left severely damaged and burned after enduring a relentless two-week-long siege. The compound, which witnessed the loss of at least 400 lives and the arrest of hundreds, now faces a dire situation.

With an acute shortage of medicine and healthcare professionals on the brink of exhaustion and starvation, the majority of patients in Gaza are unable to receive the treatment they desperately need.

The scarcity of resources has forced medical teams to carry out operations and amputations without the availability of anesthetic, further exacerbating the already dire circumstances.

Political resolutions

On March 6, South Africa filed an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and requested for additional provisional measures issued on January 26.

In January, the ICJ ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel described the genocide allegation as baseless.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, calling for a halt to all arms sales to Israel, and for the regime to be held accountable for possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month, demanding an “immediate ceasefire” for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The resolution is the first to be approved by the council after three previous attempts during the past five months of war were vetoed by the US.

Meanwhile, during the months of war, protests around the world have been held in support of Palestine, calling for an immediate ceasefire and halt to arms sales to Israel.

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