Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section B. Attacks against combatants
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Operations may only be directed against military objectives.” It adds that “combatants who are part of the armed forces” are military objectives “under all circumstances”.
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands requires that soldiers “attack only combatants”.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Attacks may be directed only against military targets.”
In its chapter on methods and means of warfare, the manual states: “Operations may be directed only at combatants and military targets.”
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”.