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The man who set himself on fire outside the courthouse where Trump is on trial dies of his injuries

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The man who set himself on fire outside the courthouse where Trump is on trial dies of his injuries
News

News

The man who set himself on fire outside the courthouse where Trump is on trial dies of his injuries

2024-04-20 22:34 Last Updated At:22:40

NEW YORK (AP) — The man who doused himself in an accelerant and set himself on fire outside the courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial has died, police said.

The New York City Police Department told The Associated Press early Saturday that the man was declared dead by staff at an area hospital.

The man was in Collect Pond Park around 1:30 p.m. Friday when he took out pamphlets espousing conspiracy theories, tossed them around, then doused himself in an accelerant and set himself on fire, officials and witnesses said.

A large number of police officers were nearby when it happened. Some officers and bystanders rushed to the aid of the man, who was hospitalized in critical condition at the time.

The man, who police said recently traveled from Florida to New York, had not breached any security checkpoints to access the park.

The park outside the courthouse has been a gathering spot for protesters, journalists and gawkers throughout Trump’s trial, which began with jury selection Monday.

Through Friday, the streets and sidewalks in the area around the courthouse were generally wide open and crowds have been small and largely orderly.

Authorities said they were also reviewing the security protocols, including whether to restrict access to the park. The side street where Trump enters and leaves the building is off limits.

“We may have to shut this area down,” New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said at a news conference outside the courthouse Friday, adding that officials would discuss the security plan soon.

White fire extinguisher residue marks the spot in Collect Pond Park where a man lit himself on fire outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place in former President Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

White fire extinguisher residue marks the spot in Collect Pond Park where a man lit himself on fire outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place in former President Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New York law enforcement and fire department personnel inspect the scene where a man lit himself on fire in a park outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place Friday in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New York law enforcement and fire department personnel inspect the scene where a man lit himself on fire in a park outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place Friday in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A metal can sits on the ground at the scene where a man lit himself on fire in a park outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place Friday in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A metal can sits on the ground at the scene where a man lit himself on fire in a park outside Manhattan criminal court, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place Friday in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — New Israeli strikes on Rafah have killed at least 16 Palestinians, first responders said Tuesday, as residents reported an escalation of fighting in the southern Gaza city once seen as the territory's last refuge.

An Israeli incursion launched in early May has caused nearly 1 million to flee from Rafah, most of whom had already been displaced in the war between Israel and Hamas. They now seek refuge in squalid tent camps and other war-ravaged areas.

The United States and other close allies of Israel have warned against a full-fledged offensive in the city, with the Biden administration saying that would cross a red line and refusing to provide offensive arms for such an undertaking. On Friday, the International Court of Justice called on Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, an order it has no power to enforce.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead, saying Israeli forces must enter Rafah to dismantle Hamas and return hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack that triggered the war.

The latest strikes occurred in the same area where Israel targeted what it said was a Hamas compound on Sunday night. That strike ignited a fire in a camp for displaced Palestinians and killed at least 45 people, according to local health officials, sparking worldwide outrage.

Netanyahu called it a “tragic mishap" and the military said it was investigating.

The new strikes overnight killed a total of 16 people in the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood in northwest Rafah, according to the Palestinian Civil Defense and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Israel says it is carrying out limited operations in eastern Rafah along the Gaza-Egypt border. But residents reported heavy bombardment overnight in western parts of Rafah as well.

“It was a night of horror,” said Abdel-Rahman Abu Ismail, a Palestinian from Gaza City who has been sheltering in Tel al-Sultan since December. He said he heard “constant sounds” of explosions overnight and into Tuesday, with fighter jets and drones flying over the area.

He said it reminded him of the Israeli invasion of his neighborhood of Shijaiyah in Gaza City, where Israel launched a heavy bombing campaign before sending in ground forces in late 2023. “We saw this before,” he said.

Sayed al-Masri, a Rafah resident, said many families have been forced to flee their homes and shelters, with most heading for the crowded Muwasi area, where giant tent camps have been set up on a barren coastline, or to Khan Younis, a southern city that suffered heavy damage during months of fighting.

“The situation is worsening” in Rafah, al-Masri said.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said two medical facilities in Tel al-Sultan are out of service because of intense bombing nearby. Medical Aid for Palestinians, a charity operating throughout the territory, said the Tel al-Sultan medical center and the Indonesian Field Hospital were under lockdown, with medics, patients and displaced people trapped inside.

Most of Gaza's hospitals are no longer functioning. The Kuwait Hospital in Rafah shut down Monday after a strike near its entrance killed two health workers.

A spokesperson for the World Health Organization said the casualties from Sunday’s strike and fire “absolutely overwhelmed” field hospitals in the area, which were already running short on supplies to treat severe burns.

“That requires intensive care, that requires electricity, that requires high-level medical services,” Dr. Margaret Harris told reporters in Geneva. “Increasingly, we are struggling to even have the high-level skilled doctors and nurses because they’ve been displaced.”

The war began when Hamas and other militants burst into southern Israel in a surprise attack on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 civilians and abducting around 250. More than 100 were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Israel responded to the attack with a massive air, land and sea offensive that has killed at least 36,096 Palestinians, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians in its count. Around 80% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million has been displaced and United Nations officials say parts of the territory are experiencing famine.

Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Palestinians killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, on Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, on Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

An Israeli Apache helicopter fires a missile towards the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

An Israeli Apache helicopter fires a missile towards the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke billows after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Smoke billows after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

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