2 Dec 2023

Protester self-immolates outside Israeli consulate in US

12:33 pm on 2 December 2023
Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 1, 2023, as fighting resumed after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants. A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas expired on December 1, with the Israeli army saying combat operations had resumed, accusing Hamas of violating the operational pause. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on 1 December, 2023. Photo: SAID KHATIB / AFP

A protester with a Palestinian flag self-immolated on Friday outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, authorities said.

The person, whom officials did not identify, is in critical condition, police chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. A security guard who attempted to intervene was also injured.

"We believe this building remains safe, and we do not see any threat here," the chief said. "We believe that was an act of extreme political protest."

The protester arrived around 12.17pm (6.17am Saturday, NZT) at the office building, which houses the consulate as well as several businesses, and used gasoline, police said.

"We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building," the consul general of Israel to the southeastern US, Anat Sultan-Dadon, told ABC News. "It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way. The sanctity of life is our highest value."

Israel resumed its military offensive in Gaza on Friday after talks to extend a week-long truce collapsed.

Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas after the militant group attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing 1200 people and taking 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 15,000 Gazans have been killed during Israel's assault, Palestinian officials say, which has destroyed much of the enclave.

The conflict has prompted hundreds of protests and rallies across the US, both in support of Palestinians as well as Israel.

- This story was first published by Reuters

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