Hans Island is a half square mile rock, essentially, in the Kennedy Channel north of Baffin Bay, just northwest of the Greenland coast. It lies directly on the border of the territorial waters of Greenland (which technically is still part of the kingdom of Denmark) and Canada. The two nations have argued for decades about who actually owns the island. In fact, they have been at “war” over it since 1984.
The nature of the “war” will explain the quotation marks.