Atlanta protester sets themself on fire outside of Israeli consulate
Atlanta, Georgia - A protester outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta was in critical condition Friday after setting themself on fire, in what police called a likely "extreme" political statement related to the Gaza war.
"A Palestinian flag was reported at the location and was part of the protest," said Darin Schierbaum, Atlanta PD chief.
He claimed the incident was "likely an extreme act of political protest."
A security guard was also injured after trying to stop the protester, according to emergency first responders.
"Both individuals sustained burns," Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith told journalists.
He did not specify the age or gender of the protester.
"The security guard noticed that the individual was attempting to set themselves afire" shortly after the protester arrived outside the consulate building around noon, Smith said.
The guard "immediately attempted but failed to stop the individual." He was burned on his wrist and leg, Smith said, while the protester was in critical condition with "full thickness" burns to their body. Both were taken to the hospital, he added.
"We actually have dedicated patrols that are occurring at this location and other Jewish and Muslim communities in the city," Schierbaum added.
Israel on Friday began pounding Gaza again after a truce with Hamas, the organization responsible for the deadly October 7 attack, expired.
Cover photo: Screenshot/Facebook/City of Atlanta Police Department