Israeli and French filmmakers are preparing to shoot a comedy based on the 2010 assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
The killing - in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates - was widely attributed to the Mossad, Israel's espionage service. The title of the film, "Kidon" (Javelin ), is the film's purported code name for the assassination hit squad.
In real life, the assassination generated widespread media coverage, including closed-circuit camera footage allegedly showing members of the assassination team in tennis garb in Mabhouh's hotel.
"Kidon" will star Shlomo Bar-Abba and Sasson Gabai as senior Mossad officials. The screenplay was written by Emmanuel Nakash, who is also directing the film. It is to open with front-page newspaper photos of the Mossad assassination hit squad.
The characters who are most surprised of all by the assassination, according to the plot line, are the members of the Mossad itself - the only ones who know that the alleged Mossad agents had no connection with the Israeli espionage service.
Soon enough, the Israeli police learn that the assassins were really small-time criminals, a French-Israeli group of swindlers whose members include a beautiful university student, a fraud expert, and a professional document counterfeiter who also runs a house of ill repute in Tel Aviv.
The plot unfolds with the Mossad and police racing against the clock to ascertain the true identities of the hit squad - and what might have led them to carry out the assassination.
They ultimately discover that what appeared to be a Mossad hit against a Hamas figure was really an elaborate fraud that involved French, Russian and Iranian diplomats, as well as figures from within the Mossad.
Gabai will play the brilliant, handsome head of the Mossad. Bar-Abba will play a highly esteemed veteran member of the spy agency who once commanded assassination teams but who was later relieved of his operational duties and given a desk job.
The leading role in the film is a character named Daniel Levy, a French immigrant to Israel and an expert in deception who deals in fake antiquities. He will be played by the French-Jewish actor Tomer Sisley.
The Israeli producers of the film are Moshe and Leon Edri and Micha Sharfstein. Casting for the movie has not yet been finalized. Filming is expected to begin in Israel in April and last about a month.
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