'Fauda' Season 3 dives into the heart of Gaza as Doron and his unit infiltrate Hamas stronghold
If you are looking forward to the return of the hit Israeli TV series 'Fauda', you are not alone! There has been a surge of interest in this tightly-scripted and performed spy thriller that has had two successful seasons and will release its third season on Netflix on April 16.
Developed by Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, the show draws on their experiences in the Israel Defense Forces and it shows. The USP of the show is the way it details risky undercover operations when Arabic-speaking Israeli infiltrators (mista’aravim) pose as Arabic-speaking Palestinian civilians as they hunt for identified "terrorists". The series itself delves into the reality of going deep undercover and the gray morality of its chief protagonist, Doron (Lior Raz).
While the first two seasons were primarily located in the West Bank, the action shifts to the Gaza Strip in season 3. When the season starts, Doron is already deep undercover in Dhahiriya, south of Hebron, under the Palestinian Authority.
His cover is that of a boxing coach, Abu Fadi, who trains boxers at the "Dhahiriya Fight Club". He has in particular bonded with a young boxer called Bashar Hamdan (Ala Dakka), whose uncle, Nasser, is the father of Hamas terrorist Abu Fauzi (Amir Hativ). Doron's ultimate aim is to take down Fauzi by getting a lock on his location by ingratiating himself with the family.
The series will be an action-packed ride as ultimately Doron and his team have to settle in the Gaza Strip to take down "Hani Al Jabari" aka "Abu Mohammed" and his cohort of Hamas commandos. Unlike other spy thrillers like the CIA-based 'Homeland', 'Fauda' has no filler episodes.
Instead, there are surprise twists and turns in almost every episode which makes for addictive TV as soon as you get used to the cast of characters; some old like Captain Gabi Ayub (Itzik Cohen) and Eli (Yaakov Zada Daniel) and some new like the Head of Gaza Desk, Hila Bashan (Marina Maximilian), who has a bit of chemistry going with Doron.
The best part about 'Fauda' is that it tries to see Palestinians as more than just "the enemy" and touches upon the morally gray zone the Israeli "heroes" have to operate in to do their job. While there is a pro-Israeli slant, as would be expected in an Israeli show, it tries to balance the narrative by creating complex and believable characters -- not everyone on the Israeli side is 100 percent "good" and not everyone on the Palestinian side is "bad".
Lior Raz, who is one of the show's creators and also plays Doron, the main protagonist, said in an interview: "We’re trying to portray both sides of the story in the same way… it’s very unique because I don’t know of many TV shows doing that. You see their [the characters'] lives and needs and their love[s] in their natural surroundings. I think this is kind of the magic of the series and why people from all over are watching. I know many Arabs from Israel who love the show — this is the first time we’ve honored their language, since you have a show in which 60 percent of it is in Arabic. You don’t see that anywhere."
'Fauda' premieres on April 16 on Netflix.