Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
Section B. Attacks against military objectives
The Netherlands’ Military Manual (1993) provides: “Operations may only be directed against military objectives.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Attacks must be limited strictly to military objectives.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Attacks must be directed against military objectives … The civilian population and civilian objects must be respected.”
At the CDDH, the Netherlands stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives and consequently does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives”.