‘Our Boys,’ HBO series on Israel’s violent summer of 2014, set for premiere
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‘Our Boys,’ HBO series on Israel’s violent summer of 2014, set for premiere

10-part show follows abduction and killing of teenagers prior to Gaza war

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Two Israelis and one Palestinian — Hagai Levi, Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu-Yael — created “Our Boys,” a 10-part series focusing on the violence that wracked Israel five years ago that premieres in August on HBO in Israel and abroad.

The show revolves around Simon (played by Shlomi Elkabetz), an investigator in the Shin Bet security service. His work, the revelations it brings and the ensuing trial will place Simon in the midst of the most difficult battle of his life.

The show is considered an unprecedented achievement by US content giant HBO for broadcasting a primetime series in the US with both Arabic and Hebrew.

The series is set in the summer of 2014, when Jewish teenagers Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were kidnapped on June 12 by Hamas terrorists in the West Bank and killed shortly thereafter.

Two days after their bodies were found, following a search of nearly three weeks, Palestinian teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir from East Jerusalem was burned alive in a brutal retaliatory killing by Jewish extremists. As a result of the rising tensions, the 2014 Gaza war broke out.

The series, filmed on location in Israel, was a co-production of cable channel HBO and Israeli production company Keshet International. It was created by Levi (also known for “In Treatment” and “The Affair”), Cedar (known for the Oscar-nominated “Beaufort” and “Footnote”) and Abu-Yael.

From left to right: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, three Israeli teenagers who were seized and kiled by Palestinians on June 12, 2014 (photo credit: IDF/AP)

The series tells the story of all those involved, Jews and Arabs.

The Jewish teenagers’ abduction sparked a massive search operation and crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, with hundreds of members of the organization arrested. Tensions ratcheted up further after the teens’ bodies were found outside Hebron at the end of June, and Abu Khdeir was killed by a group Jewish Israelis in an apparent revenge attack, sparking days of unrest throughout the country and in the West Bank and heavy rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israel.

Muhammad Abu Khdeir, seen in a photo provided by his family. (Courtesy)

On July 8, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stymie the rocket fire with airstrikes and later carried out a ground incursion into Gaza to destroy a network of cross-border attack tunnels.

The limited series will debut August 12 with two one-hour back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. in the US, followed by single episodes on subsequent Mondays. The show will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

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