“Fauda” tells the story of an elite special ops unit within the Israeli army called “mista’arvim,” undercover commandos carrying out secret missions within Palestinian territories.
The hit Netflix drama is based on one of the top real-life “mista’arvim” units called “Duvdevan,” which is assigned specifically to the West Bank and boasts the show’s co-creator and writer, Lior Raz, as one of its graduates.
The name “Duvdevan” means cherry in Hebrew, as in the cherry on top of the Israel Defense Forces. While military service is mandatory in Israel — three years for men, two for women — units like “Duvdevan” are voluntary. Getting in comes with some serious bragging rights.
Training includes a disguise course, perfecting the Arabic Palestinian dialect and getting punched in the stomach before going to bed.
“Every night before bedtime, you stand up like this and you get some punched in the stomach, in the abdomen to see if your muscles are strong enough,” Nimrod Astel, a former “Duvdevan” fighter and a stunt choreographer on the show, told TheWrap.
Who are these soldiers? How did this unit come about? And what’s it like being a member of one of the IDF’s toughest undercover special ops forces?
In this second of three videos, sponsored by Netflix, TheWrap goes inside the real-life “Fauda.”
“Fauda” Season 2 is currently available on Netflix.