Practice Relating to Rule 16. Target Verification
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “In any attack it is imperative to verify that the attack will be directed against a specific military target.”
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
In any attack, it is a duty to ensure that:
- The attack is directed against specific military targets.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
The Report on the Practice of Israel states: “In principle, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] recognizes a general obligation to verify the military nature of a target during pre-attack planning phases.”
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:
[W]hen possible, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] used (in real time) updated and precise intelligence available regarding target identification and the risk of incidental civilian harm. When necessary, it also cross checked intelligence sources before commencing attacks, even in cases in which delaying fire entailed additional risk to both Israeli civilians and IDF forces.