United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 29. Medical Transports
Section C. Respect for and protection of hospital ships
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “In addition to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: (1) deliberate attack on … hospital ships”.
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980) provides that ambulances and hospital ships “should not be deliberately attacked, fired upon, or unnecessarily prevented from performing their medical duties”.
The US Naval Handbook (1995) qualifies “deliberate attack upon hospital ships” as a war crime.
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include: “Deliberate attacks upon … hospital ships.”
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
a. As a subset of military operations, detainee operations must comply with the law of war during all armed conflicts, however such conflicts are characterized, and in all other military operations …
c. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are fully applicable as a matter of international law to all military operations that qualify as international armed conflicts … The principles reflected in these treaties are considered customary international law, binding on all nations during international armed conflict. Although often referred to collectively as the “Geneva Conventions,” the specific treaties are:
(2)  Geneva Convention [II]
… This convention … protects hospital ships.