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Extreme Act: Protester Sets Self On Fire Outside Israeli Consulate In Atlanta

A protester is in critical condition after setting themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, in an act that police describe as an “extreme” political statement.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum noted the presence of a Palestinian flag at the protest.

He said 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.

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“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 (1700 GMT), Smith said.

The guard “immediately attempted but failed to stop the individual.”

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The guard 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.

The United States has seen an uptick in Anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic threats and violence since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza in October.

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Earlier this week a US man was charged with attempted murder over the shooting of three men of Palestinian descent in Vermont, and a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy was stabbed to death in Illinois in October.

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