The family of an Arab-Israeli confirmed on Wednesday that their relative has died while fighting in the Syrian civil war, AFP reported.
According to the family, 28-year-old Muayyed Zaki Jumaa Ighbariya was fighting on the side of the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group Al-Nusra Front.
Ighbariya left his village near the Arab-Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm in the north of the Jewish state and crossed into Syria via Turkey about a month ago, a relative who requested anonymity told AFP.
Ighbariya's family said prayers for him on Wednesday morning, having learned of his death the day before, the relatives said, though they did not specify how they had received the news.
Ighbariya is thought to be the first Arab-Israeli killed in the Syrian conflict, but Israeli police told AFP they had arrested three other Arab citizens who went to fight against President Bashar Al-Assad's forces for "leaving the country illegally and travelling to a hostile state.”
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the three men had also joined the Al-Nusra Front, which has been blacklisted by the United States as a terrorist organization.
Two of them were sentenced in August to 19 months in prison each, reported AFP.
Members of Al-Nusra and other rebel groups have committed atrocities during the Syrian civil war, including publicly beheading a Catholic priest who was accused of collaborating with Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
Al-Nusra was once was the largest faction in the Islamist Front for the Liberation of Syria (ISIS), the 13-member rebel coalition that broke away from the main opposition force and has declared its own Islamic state in Aleppo.
This week, Al-Nusra said that its fighters killed dozens of Alawites, the community to which Assad belongs.
The group said the attacks on the Alawites were revenge for the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21. Al-Nusra previously vowed revenge strikes against villages from the Alawite community over the chemical weapons attack.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)