Practice Relating to Rule 14. Proportionality in Attack
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, India stated:
The relationship between military advantage and the collateral damage involved also determines the legality of use of a weapon or a method of warfare employed. If the collateral damage is excessive in relation to the military advantage, the attack is forbidden.
In 2006, in a statement regarding the situation in Lebanon, the Prime Minister of India stated:
On July 12, India had condemned the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah cadres and called for their immediate release. Simultaneously, we had condemned in the strongest possible terms the excessive and disproportionate military retaliation by Israel. We had particularly expressed concern that the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces had resulted in the killing and suffering of innocent civilians, including women and children, that is likely to exacerbate and already tense situation.
In 2008, in a statement on the situation in Gaza, the official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs stated:
The Government of India had hoped that military action by Israel against targets in the Gaza strip would abate. It is disappointing to note that the use of disproportionate force is resulting in a large number of civilian casualties on the one hand and the escalating violence on the other. This continued use of indiscriminate force is unwarranted and condemnable.
In 2009, in answer to a written question in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) regarding the situation in Palestine, the Minister of State in India’s Ministry of External Affairs stated:
(b) In the period 26.12.2008 to 18.1.2009, over 1200 Palestinians, including civilians and children, were reportedly killed. 13 Israelis are also said to have been killed.
The Government of India closely followed the above developments. On 27.12.2008, 29.12.2008, 2.1.2009, 4.1.2009 and 9.1.2009, the Official Spokesperson made statements on this matter calling, inter alia, for an immediate end to the disproportionate and condemnable use of force, particularly against civilians.