Related Rule
Netherlands
Practice Relating to Rule 29. Medical Transports
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Medical transport and medical means of transportation (vehicles, ships and aircraft) must be respected and protected.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-6.
The manual repeats this rule with respect to non-international armed conflicts. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. XI-6.
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Medical transports may not be attacked … Medical transports, whether on water, on land or in the air, must also be respected. Such transport may not, however, be used as normal military transport.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7-40 and 7-41.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Section 6 - Medical transport
0624. Medical transport and medical means of transport (vehicles, vessels and aircraft) must be respected and protected. Medical means of transport form part of the equipment of medical units …
0625. A number of terms are important in this connection:
- medical transport covers the conveyance by land, water or air of the wounded, sick, medical personnel, religious personnel, medical equipment or medical supplies;
- medical transport means any means of transportation, whether military or civilian, permanent or temporary, assigned exclusively to medical purposes;
- medical vehicle means any medical transport by land;
- medical ships and boats mean any medical transports by water;
- medical aircraft means any medical transports by air.
0626. Medical transports should generally be permanently destined for medical purposes. It is also possible to allocate means of transport temporarily to medical transportation. In case of temporary allocation, clear instructions are required to prevent misuse of medical protection. In any case, the purpose of vehicles, ships and boats and aircraft must not change during an operation. In the course of an armed conflict, however, a change of purpose is possible. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0624–0626.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Medical units and means of transport must be respected and protected. They may not be attacked. Their protection ends only when they are used to carry out hostile acts outside the scope of their humanitarian task. Even then, a warning must first be given. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1058.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Attacks on medical facilities or transports are strictly prohibited.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1223.
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the rules governing medical aircraft found in Articles 25–28 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. VI-6 and VI-7.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0627. Medical aircraft
Special rules exist for the protection of medical aircraft. First, they distinguish between the places where such aircraft are flying:
- in zones under the control of friendly troops;
- in contact zones;
- in zones under the control of the adversary.
0628. Zones under friendly control
In a situation where medical aircraft are flying in zones under the control of friendly troops, no rules are prescribed, except that, for safety’s sake, the adversary may be informed when and where medical aircraft are carrying out flights.
0629. Contact zones
A contact zone means any area on land where the parties’ forces are fighting each other. If the parties in a conflict have reached no agreement on flights in the contact zone, medical aircraft fly at their own risk. An adversary which recognizes a medical aircraft must, of course, respect it.
0630. Zones under the adversary’s control
Subject to obtaining the adversary’s permission, medical aircraft enjoy total protection while flying over the area under the adversary’s control. If permission is not obtained, or if the aeroplane or helicopter strays from the prescribed route, or breaches other set conditions, it must identify itself as quickly as possible to the adversary which should make every reasonable effort to order a medical aircraft, identified as such, to land, or should take other measures before attacking the aircraft. If one of the parties to a conflict forces a medical aircraft to land and it emerges, on inspection, that the consignment does not meet certain specific requirements for medical flights, the plane may be seized. In the case of a dedicated medical plane, it may be used only as such thereafter.
0631. A number of further rules apply to the use of medical aircraft in general. Medical aircraft may not be used in an attempt to render military objectives immune from attack. It is also prohibited to use such aircraft to gather military intelligence or carry equipment for that purpose, or otherwise to procure any advantage against the adversary. Medical aircraft may carry only the wounded, the sick, medical personnel and religious personnel. Furthermore, only portable weapons and ammunition of the persons present on board the aircraft may be carried with them. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0627–0631.
In its chapter on neutrality, the manual states:
Except with consent and the possible attachment of conditions or restrictions, medical aircraft may not over-fly or land on the territory of a neutral State or other State not a party to the conflict. If consent is obtained, medical aircraft should be respected and protected. Nevertheless, they must obey any order to land.
If consent is not obtained, a medical aircraft should do everything to announce the flight and to identify itself. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0940.
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Medical transport and medical means of transportation (vehicles, ships and aircraft) must be respected and protected.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-6.
The manual repeats this rule with respect to non-international armed conflicts. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. XI-6.
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Medical transports may not be attacked … Medical transports, whether on water, on land or in the air, must also be respected. Such transport may not, however, be used as normal military transport.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7-40 and 7-41.