Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section A. The principle of distinction
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “A distinction must always be made between the civilian population and those participating in hostilities: the latter may be attacked, the former may not.”
A report submitted to the Belgian Senate in 1991 noted that the principle of distinction remained the foundation of the law of armed conflict.