With Fauda confirmed for Season 3 in 2019, fans are looking forward with eager anticipation to another season of nail-biting tension and testosterone-fueled action as Doron Kavillio, portrayed by the show’s co-creator Lior Raz, takes on new terrorist foes.
The Netflix smash hit Fauda (which means “chaos” in Arabic) is an Israeli spy thriller which follows a team of Arabic-speaking Israeli infiltrators (mista’aravim) operating inside Palestinian West Bank territory. They pose as Arabic-speaking Palestinian civilians while hunting identified Palestinian terrorists for execution.
The Israeli TV series has gained an international audience and received critical acclaim worldwide despite the fact that its dialogue is mostly in Arabic and Hebrew. Fauda is the latest of recent Israeli TV productions, such as Prisoners of War (Hatufim: TV series 2009-2012)), BeTipul (TV series 2005- ), and Shtisel (TV series 2013- ), that have gone international.
Ahead of its highly anticipated 2019 premiere date, we bring you everything we know so far about the upcoming Fauda Season 3.
Fauda Season 3 release date
After the Israeli satellite channel Yes picked up Fauda for Season 2 in the summer of 2016, it confirmed the renewal of Fauda for Season 3 on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, a few weeks before the second season premiered on the network.
Yes has not announced the exact premiere date for Fauda Season 3, but it is expected to air “sometime in 2019.”
Netflix does not add fresh episodes of the show weekly. Instead, it adds all the season’s episodes at once soon after the season wraps up on Israeli TV. International viewers will, therefore, have to wait a little longer after the season wraps up in Israel to see Fauda Season 3 on Netflix.
Fans are hoping that the release date for Fauda Season 3 will mirror the pattern for Seasons 1 and 2, meaning that Fauda Season 3 will air on Israeli TV early in the spring of 2019, and it will be available on Netflix by the end of May.
Fauda Season 3: Background and details
The 12-episode Fauda Season 1 premiered on the Israeli TV channel Yes Oh in February 15, 2015, while the season finale aired on May 3, 2015. Yes Oh picked up the series for Season 2 in the summer of 2016 with the promise that it will focus more on current real-world events.
The streaming giant Netflix picked up the series and added it to its lineup with English subtitles in December 2016.
Fauda Season 2 premiered on Israel’s Yes Oh channel on December 31, 2017, New Year’s Eve, and was released on Netflix on May 24, 2018, after the Season 2 finale aired on Israel’s Yes Oh on Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Although Fauda was an instant hit on Israeli TV, it became an international hit only after the online streaming giant Netflix acquired rights to the show and made it available to millions of viewers around the world.
Fauda is currently being distributed internationally by Netflix, and it is billed as a Netflix original program.
Fauda is co-written and co-created by Avi Issacharoff, a former Hareetz journalist, and actor Lior Raz, who also portrays the leading character Doron Kavillio.
The version of the TV series aired in Israel is the same as the international version distributed by Netflix, save for the subtitling and dubbed languages, including English and Spanish.
In December 2017, a week before Yes confirmed the renewal of Fauda for Season 3, the New York Times voted the series as one of the best TV series in 2017.
Fauda is co-creator Raz’s first experience writing a script. He drew from his own personal experience serving in the elite IDF unit Duvdevan. The creators shared that they had a difficult time pitching the show. It was rejected by all the big players in Israel, including Keshet, Reshet and Channel Eser, before Yes, Israel’s largest satellite TV providers, picked it up.
Fauda eventually came to the attention of Netflix which purchased the rights in December 2016 and made it available to its more than 100 million subscribers worldwide. The streaming giant offers the series in its original Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles in a number of European languages.
The success of Fauda led to Netflix signing a contract with Issacharoff and Raz in November 2017 for two other original TV series, one of which is titled Hit and Run.
Hit and Run tells the story of a happily married man whose wife was killed in a hit and run accident, according to Netflix. The other series is reportedly based on real events involving the CIA and Mossad agents collaborating to hunt terrorists.
Fauda: Critical acclaim
Fauda was an instant hit with the Israeli audience and remains one of the most popular TV drama series in the country. The series has also been widely viewed by an ambivalent Palestinian audience. While some Palestinians have criticized the show as presenting only the Israeli perspective, others have lauded it as groundbreaking for its fairer portrayal of Palestinians.
Maz Siam, a Palestinian actor in West L.A., told The Wrap that he was impressed with the more balanced portrayal of Palestinians and that he actually found himself feeling sorry for Doron when his wife cheated on him with his friend.
“I watched every episode,” Siam said. “It was like, ‘Oh my God! They’re showing Israeli soldiers killing [Palestinian civilians]’. I’d never seen that before.”
The show has also gained an international audience since it came to Netflix.
“We were shocked it made such a splash,” Raz said in an interview with The Wrap. “We thought, ‘Who in the U.S. would watch a show in Hebrew and Arabic?'”
Some Hollywood A-listers have publicly praised the series. Stephen King tweeted his approval of the series in February 2017.
FAUDA, on Netflix. Cool Israeli thriller. With episodes only a little longer than your average sitcom, it's all killer and no filler.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 14, 2017
Conan O’Brien reportedly said he was a “huge fan” of the series.
Critics have lauded Fauda as one of the greatest shows ever on Israeli TV. Fauda is praised for its realism and authenticity in the portrayal of the lives of Israel’s mist’arvim commandos who conduct undercover operations among the Palestinian Arab population.
The realism of the show has been widely attributed to the fact that co-creator Raz based it on his experience as a member of Israel’s Duvdevan mista’arvim unit, according to Hareetz.
Issacharoff had also covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a Hareetz correspondent from 2005 to 2012.
The Israeli TV series was produced with a lower budget than similar TV series in the U.S., so less emphasis was placed on spectacle and special effect, and more on drama. Its portrayal of Israeli commandos is widely praised as more realistic and less stereotyped than in American productions.
However, the shaven, bellicose, sour and rage-filled Doron retains significant elements of the stereotypical portrayal of the Israeli commando, notwithstanding his romance with the Palestinian doctor Shirin Al Abed, portrayed by Laëtitia Eido.
In 2016, Fauda won multiple awards at the Israeli Academy Awards, including the best drama series. In December 2017, The New York Times voted Fauda the best international TV series in 2017. In March 2018, Fauda won several Ophir Awards (Israel’s version of the Oscars), including best TV drama. Lior Raz won the best actor. The show also won the best casting, special effects, cinematography and screenplay.
The success of the show has raised the profile of its creators in Hollywood. Raz, for instance, appeared in Mary Magdalene (2018), alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Chiwetel Ejiofor. He also appeared in Operation Finale (2018) as Isser Harel, alongside Ben Kingsley, Oscar Isaac and Mélanie Laurent.
“I try not to let it [the success of Fauda] overwhelm me,” Raz said. “My wildest dreams were realized with the show’s success in Israel. Everything else is just gravy.”
He added that he and Issacharoff struggled to absorb the reality of the show’s global success.
“At least once a week we have to pinch ourselves,” he joked.
Fauda: Criticism and BDS backlash
Netflix came under pressure from the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement to drop the show. The BDS alleged that the show “legitimizes (Israel’s) war crimes.”
“It is an anti-Arab, racist, Israeli propaganda tool that glorifies the Israeli military’s war crimes against the Palestinian people,” the BDS said in a statement released in March. “By sanitizing and normalizing these crimes, Fauda is directly complicit in promoting and justifying these grave human rights violations.”
Hareetz contributor Adrian Hennigan criticized the series for lacking an infusion of the Palestinian voice and point of view. Hennigan argued that although the harsh reality of Israel’s military presence is not entirely absent from Fauda, the series attempts to avoid portraying the more brutal aspects of the West Bank occupation.
According to the writer, Season 2 noticeably avoided portraying the full extent of the “occupying” presence of Israeli soldiers, the ubiquitous checkpoints, and the separation wall, all of which are essential elements of the reality on the ground.
However, many apologists have insisted that the first two seasons made visible efforts to avoid demonizing Palestinians. According to apologists, the producers’ efforts to represent the Palestinian voice and point of view was shown in the fact that only Arab actors were hired for Arab roles and that they tried to keep true to the different dialects of the Arab language. The producers also revealed that about 55 percent of Season 1 was in Arabic, while Season 2 was more than 60 percent Arabic.
“I’ve seen shows where everyone speaks English, that’s just BS,” producer Liat Benasuly-Amit said in an interview with The Wrap. “We wanted it to be authentic.”
As a testimony to Fauda’s authenticity, the IDF is now reportedly using it to teach its soldiers Arabic. IDF soldiers are asked to watch episodes of the show to update their knowledge of Arabic slangs.
“There has been a spike in demand for Arabic courses in Israel because of the show,” Raz said. “And that could be a start of a new dialogue.”
Responding to accusations that the show presents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict mostly from an Israeli perspective, the show creators admitted that it was primarily made for an Israeli audience.
Apologists also insist that regardless of the claim that the series lacks the Palestinian point of view, Fauda breaks new ground in the portrayal of Palestinian fighters and terrorists.
“It’s the first TV series that showed the Palestinian narrative in a way that you can actually feel something for someone who acts like a terrorist,” said Haaretz’s Itay Stern, according to The Guardian. “You can understand the motives and the emotion and that’s unique because until that point you couldn’t really see it on TV.”
Yasmeen Serhan, writing for The Atlantic, echoed Raz’s suggestion that critics who want a Palestinian perspective on the conflict would do better to urge Netflix to commission a different series created by Palestinians.
A few critics have faulted the series creators for allegedly not innovating since the Season 1 show. Mike Hale, writing on the New York Times, claimed that some viewers might have found Season 2 less exciting because the action and pattern of plot twists had become repetitive and thus familiar.
Hennigan argued that the series portrays the mista’arvim (Israeli undercover agents who pass off as Arabs) without any attempt to reflect on the psychological impact of their dangerous lives. He pointed out that former members of Duvdevan — the real-life Israeli counterterrorism unit — set up a foundation to help former colleagues suffering from PTSD as a result of their service.
Fauda Season 3 trailer
Yes has not yet released a trailer for Fauda Season 3. We will update readers as soon as the official trailer is released.
Meanwhile, enjoy the trailers for the second season of the series.
— lior raz (@lioraz) September 12, 2017
Fans will recall that Netflix’s Season 2 official trailer generated considerable buzz when it was released in May.
Fauda Season 3 cast
Fauda Season 3 will likely feature the entire main cast from Season 2, including Nurit (Rona-Lee Shim’on), Naor (Tzachi Halevy), Herzel (Doron Ben-David), Eli (Yaakov Zada Daniel), Avihai (Boaz Konforty), Captain Gabi Ayuk (Itzik Cohen), Mickey Moreno (Yuval Segal), and Gali Kavillio (Neta Garty).
New characters will also likely join the cast for Fauda Season 3. But the producers are yet to release details about Fauda Season 3 cast. We will update readers when new casting information is released.
Fauda Season 3 plot
Details of the plot of Fauda Season 3 are unknown. However, we may expect that Doron will continue to focus on his work as a member of the elite Israeli commando unit tasked with tracking and eliminating terrorist threats.
The 12-episode Fauda Season 1, which premiered on the Israeli satellite network Yes in February 15, 2015, followed Doron’s exploits after he came out of retirement to help track down a notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Doron was formerly a mista’ erev, that is, an undercover agent trained to conduct undercover operations among the Arab population by passing off as an Arab. He found that a Hamas terrorist he thought he had killed during a previous operation was in fact still alive and plotting new terrorist attacks.
Doron had gone into retirement eighteen months before Fauda Season 1 started, after completing a mission in which the Palestinian terrorist Tawfik Hamed “Abu Ahmed,” also known as The Panther, was assumed to have been killed. But Doron’s old colleague Mickey Moreno (Yuval Segal), persuades him to return to his former counterterrorism unit to help track down the terrorist portrayed by Hisham Suliman.
After Moreno breaks the news that Tawfik is still alive, Doron decides that he has a job to finish and comes out of retirement.
The team attempts to take out Tawfik at the wedding of his brother Bashir. Doron shoots and wounds Tawfik who escapes, but Bashir is killed.
Bashir’s family plans to avenge his death, but the story ends with the death of Tawfik in the hands of his right-hand man Walid (Shadi Mar’i).
Fauda Season 2, which premiered on Netflix on May 24, also follows the undercover operations of the elite Israeli counterterrorism unit. In Season 2, Doron confronts ISIS operative Nidal Awdallah, aka Al Makdesi (portrayed by Firas Nassar), who returns from Syria — where he had been fighting for ISIS — to promote the interest of ISIS in the Palestinian territories and to avenge the death of his father, the Hamas leader Sheikh Awdallah.
Al Makdesi’s father was killed by Doron in the first season of the show.
To achieve his goals, Al Makdasi adopted the same undercover tactics employed by Doron’s unit. He tries to recruit Arabs who can pass off as Israeli Jews and conduct intelligence gathering operations while living among the Jewish population.
The plot for Season 1 and 2 effectively revolves around the conflict between two unconventional operatives on both sides who have difficulty falling in line with their overseeing authorities. In Seasons 1 and 2, the sour and dour Doron often ignores orders from his superiors. Similarly, the Palestinian terrorist Tawfik Hammed “Abu Ahmed” (The Panther) and the ISIS militant Nidal Awdallah (Al Makdasi) refuse to fall in line with Hamas.
Fans can expect that Fauda Season 3 will continue with the portrayal of the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of the personalized conflict between malcontents on both sides.
After Season 1 wrapped up in May 2015, the creators of the series hinted that Season 2 will focus more on current international events. Observers later suggested that the Season 2’s ISIS plotline was adopted with an eye on the international Netflix audience.
With the producers eyeing the international audience, Season 3 will likely adopt themes tailored to the Netflix audience. Thus, we may see Doron confronting foes in the context of current regional issues of greater international interest, such as Israel’s regional rivalry with Iran, or collaborating with U.S. spy agencies to track down international terrorists.