Life & Culture

Fauda’s next series will include October 7 says producer

Fauda producer Liat Benasuly Amit tells Francine White how fact and fiction have blurred and how the massacre has personally affected the hit Netflix show team


Idan Amedi’s X/Twitter post last October 12 was blunt. “It’s not a scene from Fauda, it’s real life,” it read, and the fact that it appeared in a video showing the Fauda actor dressed in military fatigues ensured it hit home with even greater force.

Fans of the hit Netflix show will know Amedi as Sagi Tzur, a new recruit to the undercover Mista’arvim unit team led by Doron (Lior Raz) tasked with infiltrating terror groups intent on destroying Israel. Millions more will know him as the singer behind hits such as Pain of Warriors and Finished.

But in this X post he was just one of the 300,000 Israeli reservists called up for service in the days after the Hamas attack.

It was a concise, powerful reminder of Israel’s new post-October 7 reality. Fact and fiction in this new reality have blurred. The intense on-screen danger that engrosses fans of Fauda has morphed into terrifying actuality.

Soon after this post, Amedi was pitched into the most hellish scenes of this new reality — the battlefields of Gaza.

As one of the first IDF first Israeli forces to reach the strip’s coastline in the invasion, he was then tasked with the critically dangerous missions of locating and destroying Hamas’s booby-trapped tunnels.

“Idan was one of the first to volunteer after October 7,” says Fauda producer Liat Benasuly Amit. “I was in touch with him. I was very worried.

“Every time we spoke I told him he’d done enough. ‘You’re two months over there come home’”.

Not long after, Benasuly Amit’s fears came horribly true. On January 8 Amedi was severely injured in an explosion that killed six of his fellow soldiers. He was so badly burnt, he was barely recogniseable.

“I saw him a day after,” says Benasuly Amit, “and I was like, oh my God… But he’s so strong.

“He’s recovering and he’s going to be OK, but it’s going to take a while. He has a long rehabilitation ahead of him.”

Amedi’s story and those of tens of thousands of others have hit home to Benasuly Amit how the October 7 attacks and subsequent war have surpassed Fauda’s darkest plots.

“Funnily enough in Season three we had an idea for something like this [the October 7 attacks], but it seemed unrealistic. We said “no, we have to keep it real,” she says.

It is often said that everyone in Israel has had some personal connection to the horrors of October 7 and the subsequent war. For the Fauda team this connection goes beyond Amedi.

On November 11, the show’s production manager Matan Meir, 38, was one of four 697th Battalion troops killed in a booby-trapped shaft next to a mosque in the Beit Hanoun area of northern Gaza.

“It was so painful,” says Benasuly Amit. “A young man, and such an amazing guy. Obviously, we all went to the funeral, he lived in the Golan Heights.

“It was so heartbreaking to see his family and all his relatives so devastated by his death.”

Benasuly Amit has also endured the terror of learning her niece had been caught up in the October 7 attack. She was doing her conscription service was near to the Gaza border on that day and had stayed with the unit for Shabbat.

She says: “I was in our safe room with my children Nina and Goni and my husband Eli. We’d gone there after we heard the sirens that’s morning. The news began to filter in about my niece. Her base had been attacked. We were out of our minds with worry. Somehow my brother heard she was hiding under a bed. She was there for 12 hours until the army rescued her. She was lucky because 100 people died on the base.”

Bearing in mind all of this and the current situation in Israel, can Fauda fans expect another series?

“Definitely we are doing series five,” says Benasuly Amit. “We are in the writing stage now which will take a year. We have decided to include what happened on October 7 in the next series because, really, we have to. We must show what it was like for us. It will be our toughest series yet.”

But Benasuly Amit also acknowledges the appetite internationally for the show may have changed. When I first met her in Jaffa at the launch of season four, it was then almost unimaginable that Israel would soon be at war again.

“We were in a good place” she recalls, “making friends with our Arab neighbours and Israeli TV shows were very popular around the world.

“Now there is some hesitancy in taking Israeli-made shows. Certainly, we’ve had situations where actors have been invited to international festivals or events and those invitations have been withdrawn.”

She also believes, with attention focused on Gaza, the world is not being told how October 7 has impacted life in Israel.

“There is so much that is not reported,” she says. “We have 200,000 displaced people who have had to leave their homes in the north and the south. Every day we hear about soldiers who have died or been severely injured.”

As is the case for most Israelis, the Fauda team has been focusing on helping out. On the day after the attacks, Avi Issacharoff, the show’s journalist co-creator, and lead actor Lior Raz rushed to the Hamas-hit southern city of Sderot to help evacuate survivors out of the fire zone.

Issacharoff has also been working as war correspondent reporting from the front line. All the Fauda cast are also helping fund-raising — including at a recent art auction hosted by Raz.

“In the first two months everyone everywhere was paralysed,” says Benasuly Amit. “We were watching the news and volunteering to see what we  could do to help.

“The civil society here is really strong and we all wanted to help soldiers and the people that got hurt.”

But she also sees a future beyond the war. “Obviously at some point, this will end. Life will go back to some kind of normal. But I don’t think it’ll ever be the same again because of the psychological impact on Israelis. I’m not saying that Israelis felt that they were invulnerable but there’s a whole generation that has not experienced a war.

“I do believe in the two-state resolution and the Palestinian people not having to suffer but we have to look after ourselves and to see that the terror won’t rise again. I’m positive that Israel will come out of it stronger.”

And what of Idan Amedi? “He will be back playing Sagi for Fauda five, for sure.

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