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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A scene being shot at Sheba Medical Center.

(Courtesy of Sheba Medical Center) Sheba Medical Center, which was recently cited by Newsweek magazine as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world, has also played a role in one of the world’s most talked about TV series—”Fauda,” as several pivotal scenes were recently filmed for Season 3 within the hospital. Netflix will air 12 new episodes of the hit action drama early next year.

In an exclusive interview, Avi Issacharoff, the journalist cum TV series creator/producer of “Fauda,” revealed that the overwhelmingly positive buzz about “Fauda” around the globe and especially in the USA has come as “a total surprise.” Of course, it didn’t hurt that the New York Times cited “Fauda” as one of best TV series of 2017.

“You have to understand that this was a series concept that was originally rejected by Israel’s two largest prime-time TV networks, Keshet and Reshet,” he recalled. “Only yes, the Israeli satellite TV network, had confidence in what we wanted to show to a local Israeli TV audience. When Netflix picked us up and we started to receive critically positive reviews in the USA, we were obviously happy and a bit shocked for a variety of reasons.”

Issacharoff explained, “We honestly didn’t think that viewers in the USA would be so interested in a very local story, where we are focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with all of its cultural, religious and political nuances that are very Middle Eastern. Not to mention the different local languages used such as Hebrew and Arabic, etc. But it’s these nuances, and the dramatic storyline with its exotic backdrops, which appear to have drawn real interest from viewers.”

As with any TV series that wishes to inject new plotline elements to keep things “fresh,” Issacharoff claimed that the series will shift a substantial portion of its dramatic storytelling from the West Bank, where the series has been “anchored” the past two seasons, to the Gaza Strip.

Because of its international ratings success and numerous awards, Issacharoff proclaimed, “there are clearly high expectations for Season 3.”

Considering the fact that the Palestinian-Israel conflict has dragged on unabated for 70-plus years and shows no sign of being resolved in the immediate future, Issacharoff maintained that “Fauda” would have enough storyline material for a 10-year prime-time run on TV.

This is not the first time that Sheba Medical Center has been used as a stage for a TV series. The hospital itself was the subject of a two year prime-time reality series, “The Interns,” which followed the trials and tribulations of young doctors at Sheba, which enjoyed high ratings on Israeli TV.

By Ken Stephens