A state memorial service was held on Sunday to commemorate Etzel (Irgun) fighter Baruch Mizrahi, who was born a Muslim, converted to Judaism, and was killed fighting for the Jewish people in a battle near Jenin.
Mizrahi, who did not leave a family behind, was born Hamoudeh Abu al-Aynin to a nationalistic Muslim family from Safed.
He converted and changed his name after joining the Revisionist Zionist youth movement Betar and learning about Judaism and Zionism.
He was exiled in 1946 by the British to a prison camp in Eritrea, where he was wounded in a shooting incident. When then-Chief Rabbi Herzog came to visit him, Mizrahi asked him to bring him back to Israel for burial should he die there.
But he recovered and returned to Israel, where was killed in April 1948 during an intelligence gathering operation in Jenin, near Sa-Nur. He was 22 when he died.
His body, however, had to wait 20 years for burial, as it was only found by his friends in 1968.
The Samaria Regional Council has "adopted" Mizrahi's memory, and even ensured he was recognized as a fallen IDF soldier. Every year, about a dozen people from the evacuated settlement Sa-Nur hold a memorial service for him at the military plot in the Netanya cemetery.