A photo shared with The Daily Beast by a witness shows the woman sprawled on the ground, feet away from a Palestinian flag.
Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said the woman arrived outside the consulate—which shares a building with other businesses—around noon with a Palestinian flag in hand. Not long after, she draped herself in it and began setting herself on fire.
Schierbaum said a security guard tried to stop the unnamed woman, but couldn’t. First responders arrived to extinguish the flames and transported her to the nearby Grady Memorial Hospital. She was in a critical condition, with serious burns.
Schierbaum emphasized the incident was not an act of terror, but was likely a form of protest against the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel, which began again Friday after a week-long ceasefire.
The security guard who attempted to stop the woman was injured in the incident, Schierbaum said. Their condition wasn’t shared.
WARNING: Graphic Image
Anat Sultan-Dadon, the consul general of Israel to the southeastern U.S., released a statement criticizing the protester.
“We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building,” he said. “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. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act.”