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Image: Shutterstock - Alexandros Michailidis

An active-duty member of the United States Air Force, 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell from San Antonio, passed away on Sunday after setting himself alight outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. The incident is what Bushnell called an “extreme act of protest”, he said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide” and to “free Palestine”.

But this is not the first time such a demonstration has occurred in the US. In December, an unidentified individual self-immolated outside Atlanta’s Israeli consulate for the same cause.

It opens questions to the impact of these demonstrations, why people choose to do this and what this means for us in Australia.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please reach out to a mental health professional or contact a helpline immediately. Remember, you are not alone, and help is available.

Below are some helpful numbers you can call:

Lifeline –  13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800

Your life matters, and there are people who care and want to help.

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