Brussels – Lebanon – Jenin – Ramla: In Fauda Season 4, Israeli undercover agent Doron Kabilio, Captain Ayub, Eli and his team embark on their most complex and dangerous mission. They face simultaneous unrest on two fronts – by Hezbollah activists from Lebanon and Palestinian militants in the West Bank.
Expectations are high for Season 4 of Israel’s most successful international TV show. What does Fauda mean in Arabic? Who are the two undercover agents who get married? Who is Omar Tawalbe? Why did he leave Israel? Why is his father cosidered a traitor? Who is the leader of the terrorist cell? Discover 19 Facts About Fauda Season 4.
The new season of Fauda, which means chaos in Arabic, was launched on Israel’s YES TV in July 2022 and premiered on Netflix on 20 January 2023.
The plot is set in four cities: Brussels (Belgium), which is considered the de facto capital of the European Union because it hosts the official seats of the most important councils and commissions of the EU; Beirut (Lebanon), where the political party and militant group Hezbollah has its headquarters; Jenin, a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank; Ramla, a city that has one of Israel’s highest crime rates.
Fauda, Israel’s longest running action series, was co-created by Lior Raz (51), who plays Doron, and Avi Issacharoff, a journalist and Middle East commentator for The Times of Israel. They were both born and raised in Jerusalem, and they met as teenagers. Moreover, they served in the same army unit, undercover in the special forces. Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff are currently working on their new thriller series Beirut.
Season 4 has an Arabic theme song at the beginning and an Arabic rap song at the end. Moreover, the new season features approximately 50 percent of the dialogues in Arabic.
The 12-episode season introduces new threats and new cast members, including Inbar Lavi (Lucifer, Prison Break), Amir Boutrous (The Crown, Aladdin), Lucy Ayoub, Danny Steg (Kvodo – Your Honor) and Loai Noufi (Hashoter Hatov).
Lucy Ayoub, who plays Omar’s sister Maya, an Israeli intelligence officer, is a 30-year-old Israeli TV presenter, radio host and actress. Hebrew and Arabic are both her mother tongues. Her father is an Arab Christian, her mother an Ashkenazi Jew. In 2019, Lucy hosted the artists’ backstage area at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
Amir Boutrous is a British actor who grew up in London. He had a leading role in The Chop and minor roles in Aladdin, The Crown and Die Another Day. In Fauda, he plays Omar Tawalbe, a Shin Bet infiltrator who works for a Hezbollah cell in Brussels.
Loai Noufi is a 38-year-old Israeli actor who starred in the TV show Hashoter Hatov and the movie Out In The Dark alongside Michael Aloni (Shtisel, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem). In Fauda, he plays Adel Tawalbe, Omar’s cousin and Abu Osama’s most trusted army officer.
Inbar Lavi, who plays Shani Russo, is a 36-year-old Israeli actress who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Dan Bar Shira. Her mother has Moroccan, her father Polish origins. At the age of 17, she moved to New York and a few months later to Los Angeles, where she attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. She is best known for her roles in Imposters, Prison Break and Lucifer (Eve). Inbar Lavi has 1.2 million followers on Instagram.
Captain Dana, the successor of Captain Gabi Ayub, is played by Meirav Shirom, a 41-year-old Israeli actress who had a minor role in Black Space.
Episode 1 starts two years after the end of the Fauda 3 plot. Captain Ayub, who has moved to the international branch of Shin Bet, is replaced by Captain Dana (Meirav Shirom). A robbery attempt in Jenin puts her on a questionable cell’s trail. “It wasn’t Hamas, it’s not their style,” she says to Gabi Ayub. “It’s organized, it’s quiet.” Ayub asks Doron, who’s been living alone on his farm for two years, to travel with him to Brussels. His informant Omar, who penetrated a Hezbollah cell that intends to attack Israeli targets, apparently got cold feet. “If he pulls out now, we lose a year’s worth of work,” says Ayub. He considers Omar Tawalbe like a son. Omar is the son of Ihad Tawalbe from Jenin who handed over the entire Islamic Jihad leadersip in 2002, including his own brother.
Meanwhile, Shin Bet finds out that the operation is run by Adel Tawalbe, Abu Osama’s officer who slaughtered the robber Jamal and disappeared.
In episode 2, Ayub is tortured by his kidnappers in Brussels. One of them is none other than Omar. The Israeli Security Agency detects a message Omar has sent to Maya, his sister, who works as an Israeli intelligence officer. She declares that she hasn’t had any contact with her brother since 2018, but not even her husband believes her. Meanwhile, Eli mobilizes the unit to join Doron in Brussels who criticizes the Belgian police for being unprofessional and passive (the Belgian captain is played by Laura Smet, a French actress, who not only gives a poor acting performance due to her expressionless face and her terrible English pronounciation, but also speaks with a Parisian accent, which doesn’t make any sense to French speaking viewers. Multilingual award-winning actress Désirée Nosbusch would have been the perfect choice for this role.) Doron, Eli and the team kidnap Muhammad al-Qutub, the imam of the Al-Madina mosque in Molenbeek, a run-down district in Brussels where terrorists are recruited in some 20 mosques (see documentary below).
In episode 3, the squad enters a crowded apartment block in Molenbeek in order to find Ayub. Nurit is wounded in one leg and has to be hospitalized. Her husband Sagi doesn’t know that she’s pregnant. Abu Osama humiliates Adel’s wife after discovering his betrayal. “He betrayed me, the camp, and every Palestinian,” he says. “He’s tied to the Iranians, those miserable Shiites.”
In episode 4, Omar briefly visits his wife Aisha in Fnaidek (North Lebanon). He also sends his sister Maya a video message and asks her to help him. Nurit, who is wounded, is replaced by a new unit member, Shani Russo. Dana, hunting for Adel, puts pressure on a new source, a pharmacist who has a relationship with Musab al-Adas, Abu Osama’s driver who joined Adel Tawalbe. A few hours later, two Shin Bet agents are killed, while Dana and Doron escape from a terrorist attack at home. They realize that Captain Gabi Ayub gave the terrorists the names and addresses of the unit members. This might indicate that he’s still alive.
In episode 5, Musab is forced to lead Shin Bet to Adel, after Dana asks him: “Do you think Hamas or Jihad will bargain for a gay guy?” Sagi finds out by accident that Nurit is pregnant and that she doesn’t know if she wants to give up her career for a child. Meanwhile, Shin Bet mobilizes for revenge, while Raphael (Oded Leopold), Mossad’s deputy chief, pitches Doron on a new mission.
Maya drives to her mother’s house in Majdal Shams (Golan Heights) to get the envelope, as her brother requested. She meets Salah, an Arab who’s supposed to take her to the Israeli-Syrian border. She doesn’t know that he’s an under cover agent called Doron and that the text messages were not sent by her brother Omar. Meanwhile, Eli’s team is instructed to observe the house of Adel’s wife in Jenin (Palestinian Authority). Sagi thinks that the observation is useless and suggests to cause a car explosion in front of the house to force Adel, the most wanted person in the world, to show up. A few seconds before the explosion, Adel’s son steps out of the house.
In episode 6, Maya and Doron are in Hezbollah territory in Syria. In a text message sent by Shin Bet, Omar asks his sister to travel to Fnaidek, a village in North Lebanon, and to give the fake Spanish passports to his wife Aisha. In a refugee crossing point in Syria, Maya and Doron mix in with refugees from Aleppo in an attempt to cross the Syrian-Lebanese border.
In episode 7, the Lebanese Hezbollah in Beirut finds out that two refugees who crossed the border a few hours before are Israeli undercover agents who killed two men at the Zgharta checkpoint. Haj Ali calls Adel to inform him that Israel smuggled two agents into Lebanon. Adel is ordered to move to phase 2, even though he has only 20 guided missiles. He thinks it’s too early and says: “We said we must strike a serious blow, one that would force them into a war. 20 missiles won’t cut it.” Nevertheless, he accepts the order to deploy the missiles.
FAUDA ENDING EXPLAINED
Captain Gabi Ayub meets Captain Dana to give her a piece of advice. He says that in order to capture Adel Tawalbe, Omar’s body should be given to the Palestinian Authority. “They’ll bury him in Jenin,” he says. “They’ll give him the funeral of a Palestinian hero. Adel is someone who wants honor and he wants to be the king. He would never let Fatah or Hamas take credit for his fighter. Once he realizes what’s going on, he’ll go to the funeral.”
Adel is holed up in the outskirts of the camp in the al-Fajr neighbourhood, where it’s too risky for the Israelis to enter. “We need to capture Adel alive,” says Dana. They want to know how much intel the terrorists got from Gabi when they tortured him and to whom they transmitted it.
Meanwhile, Maya and her family gather in the mortuary of a hospital. Her younger brother puts a Palestinian flag on Omar’s corpse.
Doron is furious about Gabi’s idea to capture Adel at the funeral of Maya’s brother. “Don’t kill her,” he says. “Adel is not just another terrorist with some rockets to launch,” replies Gabi. “If we don’t take him out now, he’ll get bigger. With everything he knows, no one will be able to stop him.” Doron has an uneasy feeling and asks: “What does he know? Gabi, who at the time of his kidnapping was a high-ranking captain of the international department of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, replies: “Everything, Doron.” This is the key scene of Fauda‘s last episode. Gabi admits implicitely that he revealed highly classified information (counterintelligence, counterterrorism, military operations, security etc.) when he was tortured by the Hezbollah terrorists, putting at risk the national security of the State of Israel. Adel would have shared this information not only with the Lebanese Hezbollah, but also with the Iranian Hezbollah, Syria and especially Iran, whose nuclear escalation is a threat to international peace.
The next day, a group of armed Hamas soldiers enter the mortuary and put a Hamas flag on Omar’s corpse, saying that he will have the funeral of a Hamas martyr and that they will lead the procession. His family is horrified. Adel is outraged and exclaims: “Omar Tawalbe didn’t give up his life for Hamas’ corrupt politicians.”
When Doron, disguised as a masked Hamas fighter, approaches Maya to warn her (“Maya, it’s gonna be chaos, leave!”), she realizes that the Hamas fighters who lead the procession towards the cemetery are Shin Bet undercover agents. Her life has been destroyed and she has nothing more to lose. Therefore, upon Adel’s arrival, she takes revenge and shouts: “Special Forces! They’re Jews, not Hamas!” Given the fact that there are too many civilians, the undercover agents don’t shoot and let Adel escape.
FAUDA SEASON 5
Even though Season 5 of Fauda hasn’t been confirmed yet, it is quite obvious that the big-budget action thriller will continue for several years. It’s one of the most successful shows on Netflix, not only in Europe, North and South America, but also in Arabic-speaking countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Lebanon (Fauda 4 is the most-viewed show on Lebanese Netflix). Fauda is also a smash hit in India, where it’s currently the second most watched Netflix show of the week.
Photos: Elia Spinopolus & Nóra Aradi for Yes Studios
(This article was first published on 11 August 2022 and updated ever since.)
FAUDA SEASON 4 EXPLAINED
If you want to know more than just 19 Facts About Fauda Season 4, watch a series of videos about the political situation in the Southern Levant, the Middle East and Europe.