Practice Relating to Rule 4. Definition of Armed Forces
Section A. General definition
According to Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998), “soldiers serving in the army (regular and reserve) or in well-ordered militia forces (e.g. the SLA or the State National Guards in the United States)” must fulfil four conditions:
1. The combatants must be led by a commander and be part of an organization with a chain of command.
2. The combatants must bear a fixed recognizable distinctive sign that can be recognized from afar.
3. The combatants must bear arms openly.
4. It is incumbent on combatants to behave in compliance with the rules and customs of war.