Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives

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Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
The presence of noncombatants in or around a military objective does not change its nature as a military objective. Noncombatants in the vicinity of a military objective must share the danger to which the military objective is exposed.
Civilians working in a store on a military air base may not necessarily be taking … a direct part [in hostilities]. However, stores, depots, supply columns and military installations are clearly military objectives which may be attacked, regardless of the presence of civilian workers.
Civilians who are not directly involved in combat but are performing military tasks are not combatants. If they are killed or injured during an attack on a legitimate military objective there is no breach of LOAC provided the death or injury is not disproportionate to the direct and concrete military advantage anticipated from the attack. The presence of civilians on or near the proposed military objective (either in a voluntary capacity or as a shield) is merely one of the factors that must be considered when planning an attack. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 526, 532 and 550.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
5.30 The presence of non-combatants, including civilians, in or around a military objective does not change its nature as a military objective. Non-combatants in the vicinity of a military objective must share the danger to which the military objective is exposed …
5.36 … [C]ivilians working in a store on a military air base may not necessarily be taking … a direct part [in hostilities]. However, stores depots, supply columns and military installations are clearly military objectives which may be attacked, regardless of the presence of civilian workers.
5.55 Civilians who are not directly involved in combat but are performing military tasks are not combatants. If they are killed or injured during an attack on a legitimate military objective there is no breach of the LOAC provided the death or injury is not disproportionate to the direct and concrete military advantage anticipated from the attack. The presence of civilians on or near the proposed military objective (either in a voluntary capacity or as a shield) is one of the factors that must be considered when planning an attack. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 5.30, 5.36 and 5.55.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
[The following] are considered military objectives:
- objects which by virtue of their existence or destruction contribute in whatever way to military action. Civilians located within a military objective or in its surroundings immediately share the danger to which it is exposed. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 92, § 352.12; see also p. 134, § 412.12.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
For targeting purposes, the presence of civilians who are authorized to accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof (such as crews of military aircraft, war correspondents, supply contractors or members of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces) does not render a legitimate target immune from attack. Such persons run the risk of being attacked as part of a legitimate target. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-4, § 34.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
For targeting purposes, the presence of civilians who are authorized to accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof (such as crews of military aircraft, war correspondents, supply contractors or members of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces) does not render a legitimate target immune from attack. Such persons run the risk of being attacked as part of a legitimate target. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 425.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “A military objective remains one even if civilians are inside. They share the danger to which they are exposed.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 57; see also p. 58.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states that “a military objective remains a military objective even if civilians are inside it. Civilians within or in the immediate vicinity of a military objective share the risk to which the objective is exposed.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 18.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) notes in Book I (basic instruction): “Civilians situated inside or near a military objective share the risk to which the military objective is exposed.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 18.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.6. Civilians accompanying the armed forces
The presence of civilians who are authorized to accompany the armed forces without really being members of these forces (members of crews of military aircraft, war correspondents, suppliers, members of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces) does not render a legitimate objective exempt from attacks. These persons run the risk of being attacked as elements of the legitimate objective. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 27.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) considers that supply and maintenance bases are military objectives and that civilian personnel working there share the risk of attack. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 51.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states:
Deliberate use of noncombatants to shield military objectives from enemy attack is prohibited. The presence of non-combatants within or near military objectives does not preclude an attack on such objectives … Unlike military personnel (other than those in a specially protected status such as medical personnel and the sick and wounded) who are always subject to attack, whether on duty or in a leave capacity, civilians are immune from attack unless they are engaged in direct support of the enemy’s armed forces or provide them with logistical support. Civilians who provide command, administrative or logistical support to military operations are exposed to attacks while performing such duties. Similarly, civilian employees of navy shipyards, the merchant navy personnel working on ships carrying military cargo, and the workers on military fortifications can be attacked while they carry out such activities. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, §§ 11.2 and 11.3.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Civilians present in military objectives are not protected against attacks directed at these objectives; the presence of civilian workers in an arms production plant, for instance, will not prevent opposing armed forces from attacking this military objective. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 445.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) considers that supply and maintenance bases are military objectives and that civilian personnel working there share the risk of attack. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 83.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
It is the duty of the attacker to distinguish between military targets and civilian targets, and the attacker should take into account the presence of civilian targets when planning the attack. No area in which military targets are combined with civilian targets may be considered as merely another target.
Upon attacking a military target that is located at the heart of [a] civilian district, for example, a group of enemy soldiers who are holed up in the heart of a city and surrounded by civilians, they may be attacked, but only if the expected military benefit to one’s side from the offensive exceeds the expected damage that might be caused to civilians. There is no set formula according to which it is possible to weigh the civilian damage against the expected military benefit from the offensive; but it is a question of degree. An offensive would not be considered legitimate if it presented a significant risk to many civilian lives in return for gaining a subordinate military objective. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The manual further states:
Civilians must not be used to screen the military movements and for the purpose of concealment amongst them. This is also the reason why soldiers are under an obligation to wear uniform or identification insignia so as to make it possible to distinguish clearly between them and civilians.
It is nevertheless unreasonable to expect a military force to completely hold its fire in every incident in which opening fire could endanger civilians; if this were the case, the best defence would be simply to surround military targets with civilians.
How should you behave when your adversary breaks this rule and intersperses military targets with civilian installations? (for example, when a military force is located inside a village or a squad of soldiers shelters in a civilian structure – is a commander entitled to shell the entire village? To bomb the building and to demolish it with all its occupants, soldiers and civilians alike?)
It is difficult to provide unequivocal answers to these questions. Each army and each commander needs to deal with this dilemma in ways that stem from the ethical outlook, the degree of risk that can be assumed in order to prevent the killing of innocent people and the nature of the enemy that is being contended with. The answer often depends on the circumstances. The situation can range from that of a large force pursuing a small company of enemy soldiers besieged from every angle, to a situation in which a unit in distress is under fire from a civilian target, for example from the rooftop of a museum. In the first incident the commander should display much more restraint, and in the second, the military needs [to] justify and permit an attack on the party that has misused the location, consequently weakening the protection afforded to the museum. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “A military objective remains a military objective even if civilians are present inside it.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-SO, § D.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands considers that:
Acts such as the manufacturing and transport of military materiel in the hinterland certainly do not constitute a direct participation in hostilities. In addition, it has to be borne in mind that the fact that civilians are working in, for example, a weapons factory does not convert such an industrial object into a civilian object. Such a case has to be assessed in the light of the definition of a military objective. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-5.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Civilians employed in industries or other activities connected with the war effort may lose while on the job some or all of their protection as civilians but they do not, as a result, become combatants.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 802(2).
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) notes in its glossary: “Civilian in military objective – A military objective remains a military objective even if civilian persons are in it. The civilian persons within such an objective or its immediate surroundings share the danger to which it is exposed.” 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 67, Glossary.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “A military objective remains such even if it accommodates civilian persons.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
Who are regarded as “Civilians”?
- Civilian persons within a military objective or its immediate surroundings share the danger to which it is exposed.
Basic Categories: Objects
Important: a military objective remains a military objective even if civilian persons are present therein.
Civilian persons, medical personnel and chaplains present in a military object or in the immediate vicinity of such an object share the risk of possible attacks.
Conclusion
- The presence of military objectives within a civilian population does not deprive the population of its civilian character, but civilians in a military objective or its immediate surroundings are at risk. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 52–54 and 56–57.
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) deals with the question of whether protection should be granted to “individuals who, forming part of a field army, are nonetheless not combatants in the strict sense of the word, such as employees and operatives of administrative and technical bodies, drivers, cleaners”. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, Article 853.
According to the Regulations, such individuals “who are not military personnel but follow armies to the battlefield are naturally exposed to the same dangers and cannot expect to be treated differently; but once their position and functions have been identified, they must be respected”. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, Article 855.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that “indirect objectives” are objectives:
which may not be the object of a direct attack but which can suffer the consequences of an attack upon a military objective. Such is the case for civilians … who may suffer the effects of an attack upon a legitimate military objective due to:
–their proximity to a military objective aimed at shielding that objective against attack;
–their carrying out activities supporting military operations (units of workers, workers in arms factories, etc.). 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.4.e; see also § 2.3.b.(1).
The manual further provides that civilian personnel who accompany and render services to the armed forces “do not have the protected status of the civilian population but are entitled to the status of prisoner of war in case of capture”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.a.(2).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “A military objective continues to be considered as such even if there are civilians or civilian property in the vicinity.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(1).
The manual further states:
Indirect objectives are those that cannot be directly attacked, but may suffer the consequences of an attack on a military objective.
Civilians … are considered to be indirect objectives that may suffer the effects of an attack on a legitimate military target in the following cases:
- presence in the vicinity of a military objective, with a view to shielding it from attacks;
- activities that support military operations (labour units, workers in weapons factories, etc.). 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.4.e.
The manual also states that civilian personnel accompanying and providing services to the armed forces “are not protected as civilians, but they are entitled to prisoner-of-war status if they are captured”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.a.(2).(b); see also § 7.3.a.(3).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) considers that:
Civilians who are inside or in the immediate vicinity of military objectives run the risks to which the military objectives are exposed. For example, the presence of civilian workers inside a weapons factory does not prevent the enemy from attacking this military objective. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 28 and commentary.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) explains with respect to the example of a “[m]ortar site, two civilian women are supplying beverages” that, in application of the principles of distinction and proportionality, the “mortar site can be attacked as a military objective: collateral damage”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 172.
With respect to the example of a “[c]onvoy of refugees intermingled with some combatants”, the Regulation explains that, in application of the principle of proportionality, “[t]he concrete military advantage is not in an acceptable proportion”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 172.
With respect to the example of a “[b]attle tank accommodating wounded persons”, the Regulation further explains that, in application of the principle of military necessity, the tank is “not a protected object. Military objective, collateral damage”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 172.
The Regulation also states that civilians “are especially protected by the law of armed conflict, insofar as they do not participate in combat and are not in the immediate proximity of military objectives”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 197. The German language version of sentence 2 of § 197 notes: “… insofar as they do not participate in combat or [“oder”] are in the immediate proximity of military objectives”.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Military objectives can be lawfully attacked. The presence of civilians at the military objective does not influence the status of the military objective.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.45.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states:
Deliberate use of noncombatants to shield military objectives from enemy attack is prohibited. Although the principle of proportionality underlying the concept of collateral damage and incidental injury continues to apply in such cases, the presence of non-combatants within or adjacent to a legitimate target does not preclude attack of it … Unlike military personnel (other than those in a specially protected status such as medical personnel and the sick and wounded) who are always subject to attack whether on duty or in a leave capacity, civilians, as a class, are not to be the object of attack. However, civilians that are engaged in direct support of the enemy’s war-fighting or war-sustaining effort are at risk of incidental injury from attack on such activities. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), §§ 11.2 and 11.3.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Although the principle of proportionality underlying the concept of collateral damage continues to apply in such cases, the presence of civilians within or adjacent to a legitimate military objective does not preclude attack of it. Such military objectives may be lawfully targeted and destroyed as needed for mission accomplishment. In such cases, responsibility for the injury and/or death of such civilians, if any, falls on the belligerent so employing them.
The presence of civilian workers, such as technical representatives aboard a warship or employees in a munitions factory, in or on a military objective, does not alter the status of the military objective. These civilians may be excluded from the proportionality analysis.
Civilians who voluntarily place themselves in or on a military objective as “human shields” in order to deter a lawful attack do not alter the status of the military objective. While the law of armed conflict is not fully developed in such cases, such persons may also be considered to be taking a direct part in hostilities or contributing directly to the enemy’s warfighting/war-sustaining capability, and may be excluded from the proportionality analysis. Attacks under such circumstances likely raise political, strategic, and operational issues that commanders should identify and consider when making targeting decisions. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.3.2.
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Japan
According to the Report on the Practice of Japan, the judgment of the Tokyo District Court in the Shimoda case in 1963, which concerned the dropping of the atomic bomb, can be interpreted as having denied the existence of the concept of so-called quasi-combatants, whereby civilians who do not directly partake in hostilities, but indirectly contribute to hostile acts by working in transportation, communication and industrial facilities would be regarded as military objectives. 
Report on the Practice of Japan, 1998, Chapter 1.2, referring to Tokyo District Court, Shimoda case, Judgment, 7 December 1963.
Belgium
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to the Belgian Parliament in 1985 in the context of the ratification procedure of the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Belgian Government stated that “each person, even a civilian, who is located inside a military objective, is exposed to the consequences of the risks that objective runs”. 
Belgium, House of Representatives, Explanatory memorandum on a draft bill for the approval of the Additional Protocols, 1984–1985 Session, Doc. 1096-1, 9 January 1985, p. 10.
Israel
In 2006, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
But the presence of civilians in the area does not stop a military objective from being a legitimate target. This is not just the law, as noted above, but also the practice of states. The Australian Defence Force Manual reflects the prevailing practice:
The presence of non-combatants in or around a military objective does not change its nature as a military objective. Non-combatants in the vicinity of a military objective must share the danger to which the military objective is exposed.
In practice Israel does not adopt the position reflected here that civilians in the vicinity of a military objective must “share the danger”, but rather takes significant efforts to avoid or minimize civilian casualties. 
Israel, Responding to Hizbullah Attacks from Lebanon: Issues of Proportionality, Legal Background, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, 25 July 2006, § 2.
Israel
In 2007, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a diplomatic note:
The presence of civilians in the area, however, does not stop a military objective from being a legitimate target. This is the law, as noted above, and reflected in state practice. Thus, for example, the Australian Defense Force Manual states:
The presence of non-combatants in or around a military objective does not change its nature as a military objective. Non-combatants in the vicinity of a military objective must share the danger to which the military objective is exposed. 
Israel, Israel’s War with Hizbullah. Preserving Humanitarian Principles While Combating Terrorism, Diplomatic Notes No. 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, April 2007, p. 14.
Israel
In 2008, in a background paper on Israel’s operations in Gaza, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
If a location is a legitimate military objective, it does not cease to be one because civilians are in the vicinity. As Article 28 of … [1949] Geneva Convention [IV] provides:
The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.
Clearly, the deliberate placing of military targets in the heart of civilian areas is a serious violation of humanitarian law, and those who chose to locate such targets in these areas must bear responsibility for the injury to civilians which this decision engenders. … The defender has the primary duty of protecting the civilian population and removing civilians from military targets, if necessary. And … [s]hould civilian casualties ensue from an attempt to shield combatants or a military objective, the ultimate responsibility lies with the belligerent placing innocent civilians at risk.
Nonetheless the callous disregard of those who hide behind civilians does not absolve the state seeking to respond to such attacks from the responsibility to avoid or at least minimize injury to civilians and their property in the course of its operations. In particular this raises the complex issue of proportionality. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Background paper, Responding to Hamas Attacks from Gaza: Issues of Proportionality, December 2008, § 2.
[emphasis in original; footnotes in original omitted]
Israel
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 stated:
99. … [T]the presence of civilians at a site (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) does not by itself forbid an attack on an otherwise legitimate military target. …
100. The expected presence of civilians, though, does impact the analysis of the proportionality of an attack. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, §§ 99–100.
[emphasis in original]
The report also stated: “The presence of civilians within a military objective or in its vicinity does not negate as such, the military character of the objective. Such a military objective may be attacked, subject to the principle of proportionality.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
United States of America
In 1989, a US memorandum of law concerning the prohibition of assassination stated:
Civilians who work within a military objective are at risk from attack during the times in which they are present within that objective, whether their injury or death is incidental to the attack of that military objective or results from their direct attack … The substitution of a civilian in a position or billet that normally would be occupied by a member of the military will not make that position immune from attack. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Memorandum of Law: Executive Order 12333 and Assassination, 2 November 1989, The Army Lawyer, Pamphlet 27-50-204, December 1989.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated:
Civilians using those bridges or near other targets at the time of their attack were at risk of injury incidental to the legitimate attack of those targets … The presence of civilians will not render a target immune from attack; legitimate targets may be attacked wherever located (outside neutral territory and waters). 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, pp. 624 and 625.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “A military objective remains a military objective even if civilian persons are in it. The civilian persons within such an objective or its immediate surroundings share the danger to which it is exposed.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 56.
Oppenheim
Oppenheim states:
Sections of the civilian population, like munition workers, which are closely identified with military objectives proper, may, while so identified, be legitimately exposed to air attack and to other belligerent measures aiming at the destruction of the objectives in question. 
Lassa Oppenheim, International Law. A Treatise, Vol. II, Disputes, War and Neutrality, Sixth edition, revised, Hersch Lauterpacht (ed.), Longmans, Green and Co., London/New York/Toronto, 1944, p. 416, § 214ea.
Americas Watch
In 1985, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Nicaragua, Americas Watch stated:
Persons providing only indirect support to the Nicaraguan army by, inter alia, working in defense plants, distributing or storing military supplies in rear areas, supplying labor and food, or serving as messengers or disseminating propaganda … may not be subject to direct individualized attack or execution since they pose no immediate threat to the adversary. However, they assume the risk of incidental death or injury arising from attacks against legitimate military targets. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 32.
[emphasis in original]
This view was reiterated in its 1986 report on the use of landmines in the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua. 
Americas Watch, Land Mines in El Salvador and Nicaragua: The Civilian Victims, New York, December 1986, p. 98.
Africa Watch
In 1989, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Angola, Africa Watch stated:
Persons providing only indirect support to the Angolan, Cuban, or South African armed forces or UNITA [União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola] by, inter alia, working in defense plants, distributing or storing military supplies behind conflict areas, supplying labor and food, serving as messengers, or disseminating propaganda … may not be subject to direct individualized attack because they pose no immediate threat to the adversary. They assume, however, the risk of incidental death or injury arising from attacks and the use of weapons against legitimate military targets. 
Africa Watch, Angola: Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides, New York, April 1989, p. 138.