British PM David Cameron: “The Gaza Strip is a prison camp." To quote the independent and highly respected human rights organization Human Rights Watch: "...Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority - indeed, the word 'withdrawal' does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza's borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, 'A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised'. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will." BTW, there is no special provision in international humanitarian law that enable Israel to violate it with impunity. Israel's land siege and naval blockade violate the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention¬. They constitute "collectiv¬e punishment¬" of 1.5 million virtually imprisoned people of whom 50% are children.
27 injured in fire, explosion at former air raid shelter in Hamburg, Germany (DPA)