Sacco uncovered and investigated the little-referenced shooting of 356 Palestinian civilians by Israeli soldiers (from a U.N. report filed Dec. 15, 1956) in the Gaza town of Rafah (on the southern tip of the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt), posing the question of whether this was a deliberate massacre or an awful error. And in exactingly detailed images Sacco vividly renders the unresolved conflict of over half a century of depredation in Rafah and the neighboring town of Khan Younis.
There is, of course, controversy about this event, as there is about much else in the Palestine question. Sacco explains:
What I show in the book is that this massacre is just one element of Palestinian history and that people are confused about which event, what year they are talking about Palestinians never seem to have had the luxury of digesting one tragedy before the next is upon them I’m not pretending to be the all-powerful, all-knowing journalist god I’m an individual who reacts to people who are sometimes afraid On a human level, of course, that colors the stories I’m telling.