A new Israeli TV show is in the works, “Rise and Kill First,” co-produced by HBO and Keshet International, focusing on Israel’s targeted assassination program.
It’s based on the bestselling book of the same name, by Yedioth Ahronoth writer Ronen Bergman.
Israeli movie director Yuval Adler, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2013 film “Bethlehem,” will write and direct the first season of the show.
“I’m so happy to share this update from Hollywood reporting the progress in the development of the TV dramatic series based on ‘Rise And Kill First,'” wrote Bergman in an email. “I’m proud of the cooperation with HBO and Keshet International, and wish a lot of luck and success to Yuval Adler, the show-runner and director.”
The series will be executive produced by Adler, Keshet International’s Avi Nir, Peter Traugott, Alon Shtruzman, and Bergman.
The show will be the second joint HBO-Keshet product, following the summer 2019 release of “Our Boys,” a controversial miniseries about the murder of a Palestinian teenager in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teenagers.
The first season of “Rise and Kill First” will reportedly focus on the operation targeting former Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car blast in Damascus in 2008 in an operation that Hezbollah has attributed to the Mossad and the CIA, reported Deadline.
The assassination followed a lengthy manhunt for Mughniyeh, who topped the CIA and FBI Most Wanted list for much of the early 2000s.
Mughniyeh was the architect of a 1994 terrorist bomb attack on the Jewish community in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, and a close ally to Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike in early January.
When Bergman’s 2018 book was acquired by Keshet and HBO, the goal was to use “Rise and Kill First” as a way to create and co-produce an English-language series shot in Israel that would cover different targeting missions, reported Deadline.
Bergman, who conducted interviews with former prime ministers and chiefs of the Israel defense establishment for the book, took the title from the Talmudic edict, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”