An Israeli citizen was killed during a battle in Syria, after he crossed the border reportedly in order to fight alongside rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Mueid Juma’a, from the Arab village of Mushirfa in Wadi Ara, was suspected by Israeli authorities of entering Syria after he went missing in early August. Juma’a, 28, had left without notifying his wife or family members of his destination, though it was revealed that he had purchased a one-way ticket to Turkey a short while earlier.
Two other residents of Wadi Ara were reported missing at the same time and are also suspected of accompanying Juma’a into Syria.
Juma’a's family received on Tuesday a photo of a man who had been shot to death in Syria and the family members confirmed that the photographed man was their missing relative.
Juma’a is the first known Israeli fatality of the Syrian civil war.
An Israeli security source assessed that the two other men, along with at least eight more Israeli citizens, were still taking part in fighting across the northern border.
In August, Abdel Qader Altallah, a pharmacy student from Taibe, was indicted upon returning to Israel for initiating contact with an enemy agent, after he briefly joined the ranks of the Syrian rebels.
A month earlier, 29-year-old Hikmat Massarwa, who joined the rebel Free Syrian Army, was handed a 30-month prison sentence after he agreed to a plea bargain and admitted to contacting an enemy agent, illegally leaving the country and infiltration.
The Shin Bet security service has said in the past that it “sees Arab Israelis going to Syria as a very dangerous phenomenon.”
Aaron Kalman contributed to this report.