Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones
Section B. Attacks on demilitarized zones
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “The parties to the conflict are prohibited from extending their military operations to demilitarized zones.” It also states that “attacking … demilitarized zones” in violation of IHL constitutes a grave breach.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “It is prohibited for the parties to a conflict to extend their military operations to demilitarized zones.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “It is prohibited to attack demilitarized zones.”
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Terms such as undefended places, demilitarized zones and neutralized territory … are sometimes described in peace operations as safe havens or safe areas.”
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime, during an international armed conflict, to commit “the following acts, when they are committed intentionally and in violation of the relevant provisions of Additional Protocol (I) and cause death or serious injury to body or health: … making … demilitarized zones the object of attack”.