Protester Sets Themself On Fire Outside Israel Consulate In Atlanta, Georgia

A protester is in a critical condition after lighting themself on fire at the Israeli consulate in the US state of Georgia in what police called an “extreme act of political protest”.

Police said the demonstrator used petrol, and a Palestinian flag was found at the scene, outside the mission in Atlanta.

The person’s gender and age remain unclear.

A security guard who attempted to intervene was also injured.

According to police, the protester arrived at the facility at 12:17 local time (17:17 GMT).

“We believe this building remains safe and we do not see any threat here,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said. “We believe this was an act of political protest.”

The guard suffered burns to the wrist and leg, Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith told reporters.

Both the protester and the guard were taken to a local hospital.

In a statement, the consul general of Israel to the south-east US, Anat Sultan-Dadon, said that the diplomatic mission is “saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building”.

“It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way,” she added.

“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act”.

Fighting resumed between Israel and Hamas on Friday morning after a seven-day ceasefire between the two sides.

The Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October killed 1,200 people, with about 240 others taken hostage.

Nearly 15,000 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory operation in Gaza, according to its Hamas-run health ministry.

The war has prompted hundreds of protests – in support of both Palestinians and Israelis – across the US.

US officials have warned of a rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic hate speech since the conflict began.

On 16 November, police arrested a suspect in the death of a Jewish man in California following a clash between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters. The victim, 69-year-old Martin Kessler, fell during a dispute at the rally and died the following day.

In mid-October, an Illinois man was charged with murder and hate crimes after allegedly stabbing a six-year-old boy to death because he was Muslim.

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