Entertainment Middle East Most Read

Tue 18 January 2022:

A set of Israeli flags, Hebrew documents, and a portrait of Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, may be found in a Hamas TV studio in Gaza.

A make-believe Israeli security service office is being utilized to film a pro-resistance television series about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It’s Hamas’ response to Israeli popular shows like “Fauda,” a special forces drama that has racked up millions of viewers on Netflix, HBO, and Apple TV+.

The film “Fauda,” which means “chaos” in Arabic, depicts a military squad led by commander Doron Kavillio that conducts incursions into Palestinian territory.

In Gaza, the Palestinian coastal enclave blockaded by Israel, admitting to having watched “Fauda” is not a smart idea, according to local director Mohammed Soraya.

To watch any Israeli TV series means supporting the “normalisation” of relations with the Jewish state, argued Soraya, who is directing Hamas’s own TV series on the conflict.

In an interview with the AFP news agency in Gaza City, he claimed that such shows “support the Zionist occupation” since their plots “criminalise the Palestinian people.”

“We want to flip the equation, to show the Palestinian point of view, to broadcast a drama about the spirit of our resistance.”

Hamas also controls the Al-Aqsa channel and has been investing in series inspired by Hollywood and popular in the Middle East Turkish soap operas.

“Qabdat al-Ahrar” (Fist of the Free), a new Israeli series currently in development, revisits a 2018 Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip that resulted in the deaths of seven Hamas soldiers and one Israeli.

Members of Hamas, which has waged four wars against Israel since 2008, are the protagonists.

Budgets are short, actors’ salaries are low, sets are simple, and timelines are tight, with the production crew aiming to deliver 30 episodes by April, just in time for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

While Israeli shows frequently feature actors from the country’s Arab-Israeli minority, Gazan productions do not.

As a result, studios are forced to hire local actors to play Israelis, a job that, according to the actors, exposes them to real-life animosity and risk.

Jawad Harouda, who plays the head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security organization in the new TV series, is in his early sixties and has a gruff voice.






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