Protester set self on fire before Israeli consulate in UStext_fields
Washington: Outside the Israeli consulate in US's Atlanta, a protester set themselves on fire and has ended up in critical condition, police said. They added that the person must have been making an "extreme" political statement, Agence France-Presse reported.
The police chief in the southern city, Darin Schierbaum, said that a Palestinian flag was reported from the spot, and it was part of the protest. The incident was "likely an extreme act of political protest," AFP quoted the officer.
During the incident, a security guard was also injured, and emergency first responders were informed.
Both the protester and the guard sustained burns, Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith told reporters. However, the age or gender of the protester was not revealed by the Fire officer.
Smith said that the security guard noticed the individuals setting themselves on fire. This was shortly after the person arrived outside the consulate building. The incident happened around noon.
The guard immediately responded to thwart the protester's feat, but he couldn't.
The guard sustained burns on his wrist and leg, Smith said. The protester was heavily burned and was rushed to hospital.
Meanwhile, Schierbaum said that they have dedicated patrols around the location as well as other Jewish and Muslim communities in the city.
AFP reports that there has been an uptick in Anti-Semitic, anti-Arab and Islamophobic threats and violence in the US since the start of the Gaza conflict in October. A US man was charged with attempted murder over shooting three men of Palestinian descent in Vermont. Also, a six-year-old Palestinian boy was stabbed to death in Illinois in October.