Practice Relating to Rule 35. Hospital and Safety Zones and Neutralized Zones
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “Where protected zones or localities (hospital zones …) have been agreed upon, the competent commanders shall issue instructions for action and behaviour near and towards such zones or localities.”
The manual also provides that “protected zones shall be respected”.
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) qualifies “attacks on … hospital and safety zones which must be respected and protected at all times” as a war crime.
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states:
Hospital and Safety Zones are protected by the emblem “White flag with an oblique red line”.
IT IS PROHIBITED
to use these zones for military purposes.
[emphasis in original]
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides:
A royal decree can establish rules to guarantee, on the basis of reciprocity, respect for and protection of towns or localities used exclusively by the medical services or for the protection of the civilian population.