Practice Relating to Rule 86. Blinding Laser Weapons
According to Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998), the 1995 Protocol IV to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons “states that it is forbidden to employ weapons that use laser beams for the operational objective of causing blindness to an unprotected eye”.
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Blinding laser weapons
. Laser technology today has progressed as far as making it possible to attack small targets and burn them, such as the human eye, a long way away from the laser operator. This Protocol, which dates from 1996, determines that it is forbidden to use weaponry that uses laser beams for the purpose of permanently blinding the enemy.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Upon acceptance of the 1995 Protocol IV to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Israel declared:
With reference to the scope of application defined in Article 1 of the Convention, the Government of the State of Israel will apply the provisions of the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons as well as the Convention and those annexed Protocols to which Israel has agreed to become bound, to all armed conflicts involving regular armed forces of States referred to in article 2 common to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, as well as to all armed conflicts referred to in Article 3 common to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
In the employment of arms applying laser technology for purposes other than causing blindness (i.e. for ranging purposes), it is incumbent on the states to take all precautionary measures to prevent unintentional blinding.