The 1949 Geneva Conventions state, in article 54 of their additional protocol: "Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited."
It is also "prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population."
That means that the Israeli army’'s latest offensive in the occupied territories amounts to war crimes; it includes the blockade of the civilian population and their collective punishment, the bombing of Gaza’s $150m power station, depriving 750,000 Palestinians of electricity in the intense summer heat, and the kidnapping on the West Bank of 64 members of the political wing of Hamas, including eight cabinet ministers and 22 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
On July 5 the Israeli government said it would expand its military operation in Gaza.
Israel has violated another principle of international law in this offensive: proportionality.
Article 51 of the protocol forbids "an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.