Practice Relating to Rule 11. Indiscriminate Attacks
With reference to Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986), the Report on the Practice of Israel states: “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] does not engage in indiscriminate attacks.”
In its judgment in The Public Committee against Torture in Israel case in 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
[C]ivilians are not to be harmed in an indiscriminate attack; in other words, in an attack which, inter alia, is not directed against a particular military objective (see §51(4) of The First Protocol
[1977 Additional Protocol I], which constitutes customary international law.
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, issued communiqués requesting that all parties avoid arbitrary or indiscriminate attacks on inhabited areas which directly or indirectly endangered civilian life or integrity.
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in referring to Article 51(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated: “Attacks must not be “indiscriminate
,” that is, untargeted, launched without consideration as to where harm will likely fall.”
[emphasis in original; footnote in original omitted]