Rafah, a town at the bottommost tip of the Gaza Strip, has long been a notorious flashpoint in the bitter Middle East conflict. Buried deep in the archives is one bloody incident, in 1956, that left 111 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Seemingly a footnote to a long history of killing, that day in Rafah—cold-blooded massacre or dreadful mistake—reveals the competing truths that have come to define an intractable war.
In a quest to get to the heart of what happened, Joe Sacco immerses himself in the daily life of Rafah and the neighboring town of Khan Younis, uncovering Gaza past and present. As in Palestine and Safe Area Goražde, his unique visual journalism renders a contested landscape in brilliant, meticulous detail. Spanning fifty years, moving fluidly between one war and the next, Footnotes in Gaza—Sacco's most ambitious work to date—transforms a critical conflict of our age into intimate and immediate experience.