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Tags: air force | hunger strike | gaza | white house

US Airman on Hunger Strike at White House Over Gaza

By    |   Tuesday, 02 April 2024 12:49 PM EDT

A U.S. Air Force member is conducting a hunger strike outside the White House to protest the war in Gaza, Military.com reported.

Senior Airman Larry Hebert, a 26-year-old an integrated avionics journeyman from New Hampshire and currently stationed at Naval Station Rota in Spain, told Military.com that he began the hunger strike at midnight Monday.

He's limiting himself to water and a juice supplement.

Hebert said his protest was inspired by the self-immolation death of another airman outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., in February.

Hebert has been standing in front of the White House with a sign that reads "Active-Duty Airman Refuses to Eat While Gaza Starves," and plans to continue for as long as he physically can.

"I don't have a stop or an end for it right now," Hebert told Military.com during a phone interview. "I'm going to go until my body cannot go any longer or we get the cease-fire and the end of unconditional aid to Israel."

Hebert said he plans to file an application to become a conscientious objector but fears punishment from the service.

"This is not something that the military exactly enjoys dealing with," Hebert told Military.com. "So, it's definitely not going to be the greatest conversation between me and my command. But hopefully they'll understand that I'm not out here saying that all the military is evil or that our government is evil or anything like that. I'm out here, objecting to the starvation, and the bombing and a siege of innocent civilians."

Department of the Air Force officials did not comment to the outlet when asked if Hebert is violating any service guidelines by engaging in his hunger strike while on leave.

In late February, Aaron Bushnell, from Whitman, Massachusetts, died after setting himself on fire while protesting the Gaza war.

Bushnell, a cyber defense operations specialist, had declared his stance against what he perceived as complicity in genocide before his self-immolation. He repeatedly chanted "Free Palestine."

Hebert, who has served for six years, told Military.com he was inspired by Bushnell's death and by the lack of response by the military.

"I felt and resonated exactly with how he was feeling, and so that was really powerful and influential," Hebert said. "But what really infuriated me was the response afterward. So, after his actions, leadership within the military and within our government was just silence. There was utter silence surrounding Aaron Bushnell and what he did."

Speaking at a Brookings Institution event in Washington days after Bushnell's death, Air Force Gen. David Allvin recognized the loss, stating, "For our Air Force, we look at this as, whether it was politically motivated or others, we lost one of ours."

He added that the service was investigating Bushnell's suicide.

The war in Gaza began when Israel defended itself by seeking to annihilate the Hamas terrorists who attacked and massacred Israelis on Oct. 7.

Hamas killed an estimated 1,200 people and took 250 hostages.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A U.S. Air Force member is conducting a hunger strike outside the White House to protest the war in Gaza, Military.com reported
air force, hunger strike, gaza, white house
499
2024-49-02
Tuesday, 02 April 2024 12:49 PM
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