A 28-year-old Israeli-Arab man was killed in Syria while fighting with the rebels against the regime of President Bashar Assad, Israel Radio reported on Monday.

Mueed Jumaa was from the village of Musherifa near Umm el-Fahm in the Wadi Ara region.

Jumaa entered Syria several weeks ago, likely through Turkey, and joined the ranks of the forces battling Assad. The circumstances of his death remained unclear.

Jumaa's family, who learned of his death on Facebook, stated that they viewed him as a martyr. "He died a hero's death, fighting against the regime of Assad the criminal in Syria."

In July, Israel sentenced an Arab citizen to 30 months' imprisonment for endangering national security by briefly joining Syrian rebels fighting to topple Assad.

Almost half of Syrian rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, according to a new report by London intelligence and defense consultancy IHS Janes.

On Sunday, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper cited the report as putting the number of opposition forces at 100,000, broken up into around 1,000 groups.

The study said that around 10,000 fighters were jihadists like those groups linked to al- Qaida, including foreign fighters; 30,000- 35,000 were hardline Islamists whose ideology overlapped with the jihadists’, but were specifically focused on the Syrian war rather than global jihad; and another 30,000 fighters had an Islamic character – including the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups – leaving a small group of non-Islamist fighters fighting for more nationalistic goals.

Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.

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