Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta

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“We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred,” said Atlanta police

A protester set themselves on fire Friday outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, AP reported. A security guard who tried to intervene was also injured.

During a news conference, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said a Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest. “We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.”

The fire chief, Roderick M. Smith, said the individual had set up outside the building and that there was evidence of gasoline being used as an accelerant. The protester suffered third-degree burns, and is in critical condition, according to the New York Times. The security guard was burned on his wrist and leg and both were transferred to Grady Memorial Hospital.

“It appears to have been focused outside the building. I’m not aware of an attempt to enter the building,” Chief Schierbaum said, noting, “I have met with the consul general. The staff is safe. All the residents of this building are safe.”


Tensions over the Israel-Hamas war have mounted across the nation and world, as well as in the political realm, where calls for a change in course regarding Gaza have been made by young activists to President Biden. Israeli authorities believe that Hamas killed around 1,200 people in its attack on Oct. 7. More than 1.7 million Gazans have been displaced, according to NBC News, and the death toll is believed to be more than 15,000 casualties in the region. 

After a weeklong ceasefire that saw the release of more than 100 hostages held in Gaza and 240 Palestinians held in Israel, the truce expired Friday. Israel’s military said it was resuming its attack on the Gaza strip, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of violating the terms of the deal.

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