Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives

Note: For practice concerning the destruction of enemy property, see Rules 50 and 51.
St. Petersburg Declaration
The preamble to the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration states: “The only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.” 
Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, St. Petersburg, 29 November–11 December 1868, preamble.
Hague Convention (IX)
Article 2 of the 1907 Hague Convention (IX) allows the bombardment of “military works, military or naval establishments, depots of arms or war matériel, workshops or plant which could be utilized for the needs of the hostile fleet or army, and the ships of war in the harbour”. 
Hague Convention (IX) concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 2.
Additional Protocol I
Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 48. Article 48 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 161.
Additional Protocol II
Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(2). Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I was adopted by 79 votes in favour, none against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 24(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided: “In order to ensure respect for the civilian population, the parties to the conflict shall confine their operations to the destruction or weakening of the military resources of the adversary”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 40.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 288, § 113.
The approved text provided: “In order to ensure respect and protection for … civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 319.
Eventually, however, it was deleted in the plenary, because it failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority (36 in favour, 19 against and 36 abstentions). 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 135.
Convention on Cluster Munitions
According to the preamble to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties based their agreement on prohibition of the use, development, production, stockpiling, retention or transfer of cluster munitions on various principles of IHL, including that they will “distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly direct their operations against military objectives only”. 
Convention on Cluster Munitions, Dublin, 30 May 2008, preamble, § 20.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
Article 24(1) of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides: “Aerial bombardment is legitimate only when directed at a military objective.” 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 24(1).
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 7 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules provides: “In order to limit the dangers incurred by the civilian population, attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 7.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 41 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states: “Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 41.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “Military operations shall be directed only against combatants and military objectives.”  
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.1.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
210. … Military operations must only be conducted against enemy armed forces and military objects. Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack. The law of armed conflict therefore requires that belligerents maintain the clear distinction between armed forces and civilians taking no direct part in hostilities; that is, between combatants and non-combatants, and between objects that might legitimately be attacked and those protected from attack.
524. Only military objectives are legitimate objects of attack. During an armed conflict, and subject to the overriding considerations of proportionality and unnecessary suffering, the ADF [Australian Defence Force] may target any military objective.
531. There is a fundamental rule that parties to a conflict must direct their operations only against military objectives. …
913. The basic rule in respect of civilians which flows from this is that a distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be carried out against military objectives. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 210, 524, 531 and 913.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.11 … Military operations must only be conducted against military objectives, including combatants.
5.26 Only military objectives are legitimate objects of attack. During an armed conflict, and subject to the overriding considerations of proportionality and unnecessary suffering, the ADF [Australian Defence Force] may target any military objective.
5.35 There is a fundamental rule that parties to a conflict must direct their operations only against military objectives.
9.13 … [A] distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be directed against military objectives. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.11, 5.26, 5.35 and 9.13; see also §§ 6.37 and 9.17.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers instructs soldiers: “Only attack military objectives.” It also states: “Just as only combatants may be attacked only objects used by the adversary for combat may be subjected to attack.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, pp. 10 and 20.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 26.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “Attacks must be directed only against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such, clearly designated and singled out. The attack must be limited to the objective designated.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 14; see also Fascicule I, p. 17 and Fascicule II, pp. 5 and 18.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “An attack is only permitted against … military objectives.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 9; see also pp. 2, 19, 25, 33, 34, 35, 63 and 85.
The Regulations also states that “only objects used by the enemy in direct support of military operations may be attacked, in order to neutralize or destroy them.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 36.
The Regulations also states:
An attack is legitimate if it is directed against:
1. the belligerent party (that is the party to the conflict);
2. combatants;
3. the armed forces …;
4. a levée en masse (the civilian population of a non-occupied territory which spontaneously takes up arms upon the approach of the enemy);
5. the positions, installations, weapons, vehicles, [and] objectives which, by their nature, location [or] use, contribute to the military effort and … whose total or partial destruction, neutralization or capture, offers a net military advantage in these circumstances. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 23; see also Part I bis, p. 9.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “It is self-evident that, after identification, bombardment cannot target but military objectives …”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 111.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Armed Operations at Sea
Rules on Bombardment by Naval Forces
[Naval] bombardment may only target a military objective. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 258, § 613.
The manual further states:
Armed Operations in the Air
1. Conduct between Belligerents
Distinction military aircraft – civilian aircraft
Every opening of fire must be preceded by an identification of the aircraft … Consequently, attacks must only be directed against enemy military aircraft. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 259, § 614.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Military operations shall be directed only against legitimate targets. Military operations directed against such targets must also meet the requirement of proportionality discussed below.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-1, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “‘Legitimate targets’ include combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 406.1.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) instructs soldiers: “Engage only opposing forces and military objectives”. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 1.
Canada
Rule 1 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel: “Engage only opposing forces and military objectives.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1.
The Code of Conduct further explains:
1. Rule # 1 is the cornerstone of the Law of Armed Conflict. It is consistent with and in fact reflects two of the Principles of War, namely “selection and maintenance of the aim” and “economy of effort.” Any deviation from the military aim jeopardizes the mission. Thus, whether you are involved in defensive or offensive operations, your effort must be directed toward the continued maintenance of the aim. It would be considered a waste of resources to engage forces that are not hostile or that have been rendered incapable of further hostilities, or to attack objectives or other objects not used for a military purpose. It is unlawful as well as unsound from an operational point of view.
3. Force used during operations must be directed against opposing forces and military objectives. Therefore, civilians not taking part in hostilities must not be targeted. Rule #1 not only makes sense morally but also helps to ensure the most efficient use of military resources. In simple terms, “warriors fight warriors.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1, §§ 1 and 3.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008), in a section entitled “Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of an armed conflict”, states: “Targets shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 112.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police): “Military objectives located in civilian areas must be distinguished and an adequate distance observed between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.2.
In Volume 3, the manual further states: “Attacks must be directed exclusively against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Introduction, Section 2; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section IV; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 7 and Chapter V, Section II, § 2.
In Volume 3, the manual also states: “Attacks must be limited to the designated military objectives”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 87; see also pp. 16, 26 and 47.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “Attacks may only be conducted against military objectives.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 7.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 17.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what can be attacked?
- military objectives.
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 3]:
Only fight enemy combatants, and only attack military objectives.
[Observation]:
- These two rules follow from the principle of distinction, which determines whom to attack during an armed conflict. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–14 and 21; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides: “[O]ne must always distinguish between military objectives, which can be attacked, and civilian objects, which must be respected.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides: “‘Legitimate objectives’ comprise combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 25.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Military targets may be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 9; see also Croatia, Instructions “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1993, § 7.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states under the heading “Rules of Combat”: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 7.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “Only combatants and other military objectives may be attacked.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.1.1.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides:
The principle of discrimination, also known as the principle of precaution, requires belligerents to distinguish military objectives that may be attacked, from civilian objects and populations that must not be the object of any wilful voluntary attack. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 13.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks, i.e. any acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence …, shall be limited exclusively to military objectives.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 441.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Combat operations may only be directed against the armed forces of the enemy and other military objectives, not however against the civilian population or civilian objects.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 3.
Greece
The Hellenic Navy’s International Law Manual (1995) provides that “attacks should be solely directed against [military targets]”. 
Greece, International Law Manual, Hellenic Navy General Staff, Directorate A2, Division IV, 1995, Chapter 7, Part I, § 2(a).
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Attack only military targets.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3; see also p. 15.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Manual (1982) provides: “The targets of every military operation should be distinguished at all times. The attack should only be directed to military objects.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law, Legal Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, 1982, § 91.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Enemy combatants and military objectives only may be the object of an attack.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
In any attack, it is a duty to ensure that:
- The attack is directed against specific military targets;
- Weapon systems are used exclusively against military targets. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 26.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides:
Direct attacks are permitted against enemy objectives whose total or partial destruction offers a definite military advantage, and, in particular, against Armed Forces and military camps, the works and military establishments, the works and the equipment for defence, deposits, offices, installations, communication lines and means that are used by Armed Forces. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 12.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “Military objectives may be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 9.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) instructs: “Only fight enemies and military objectives.” 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “Attacks are only to be directed against military objectives. Civilian objects are therefore to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15; see also Précis No. 3, p. 14, and Précis No. 4, p. 1.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) instructs soldiers not to target anything “except military objectives”. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, Article 7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Military objectives may be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-O, § 9; see also Fiche 4-T, § 2.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the Status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the vessel “Mavi Marmara” and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [n]aval forces were … under an obligation to … limit attacks to military objectives. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section entitled “Fundamental norms of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”, states: “Attacks must be directed solely against military objectives.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 412.
The manual also states:
The underlying idea of this body of law [i.e. IHL] is to humanize war. The three main principles established to this end … [include]:
A. military operations may only be directed against … military objectives. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 372(A).
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “[A]ttack only military objectives.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(d).
Netherlands
The Netherlands’ Military Manual (1993) provides: “Operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-1, § 2; see also p. V-5; see also Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7–36, 7–39 and 7–43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Attacks must be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0521; see also § 0504.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Attacks must be directed against military objectives … The civilian population and civilian objects must be respected.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1043; see also § 1029.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks must be directed against military objectives.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 515(1); see also §§ 524(1)(c), 622(1) and 624(1)(c).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Only military targets are to be attacked.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(b); see also Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 2.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks may only target military objectives. Military objectives must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned. Attacks must be confined to the assigned military objective.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 29.a.
The manual further states: “Non-protected objects are military objectives, which can be attacked.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. The military objective must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned. Attacks must be confined to the assigned military objective.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 30(a), p. 242.
The manual also states: “Non-protected objects are military objectives, which can be attacked.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 34(c), p. 242; see also § 9, p. 419.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs soldiers: “Fight only enemy combatants and attack only military objectives.” 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 2.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) provides that only military objectives may be attacked. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 86.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 4.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
when carrying out an assigned mission, weapons should be used only against the adversary and its military objectives;
persons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (nor prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Attack only military objectives. Civilian objects are to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes by the enemy.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 25(b).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) provides that soldiers in combat must “[a]ttack only military targets”. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 48.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
Fundamental Norms and Values (rules)
The fundamental norms/val[u]es which underlie the LOAC [law of armed conflict] are:
- Parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare civilian population and property. … Attacks must be directed solely against military objectives.  
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 1, pp. 16–17.
The manual also states:
Introduction
1. As was said in a previous learning unit, the most important distinction in the LOAC [law of armed conflict] is the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Only combatants and military objectives may be made the object of attack …
Basic Categories: Objects
A distinction is made between military objectives and civilian objects ([1977] Additional Protocol I article 52). Civilian objects are protected and only military objectives may be made the object of an attack. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 50 and 53; see also p. 56.
The manual further states:
Precautions in Attack
The following precautions are mandatory to all applications of combat power against hostile targets or forces:
- Verify the military nature of the target or objective.
- The factors to be considered when deciding whether a target is a legitimate target, are:
- Military Objectives
- Attacks shall be limited strictly to clearly identified and verified military objectives (Additional Protocol I article 52.1). 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, p. 182.
[emphasis in original]
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Military operations shall be directed only against military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.3.(b).1; see also §§ 4.1 and 4.5.(b)2.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Military operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(1); see also §§ 3.1.d.(2); 4.1, 4.5.b.(2).(a) and 10.3.e.(1).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “Military operations may only be directed towards military objectives.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 41; see also p. 52.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Troops can only direct their actions against military objectives.” It also provides: “Only military objectives, well specified and duly identified, may be attacked by bombardment or by projectiles fired from long-distance or having widespread destructive effects.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 25(1) and 28.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I exclusively engage combatants and military targets.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 1.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 159.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “Attacks must be directed only against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such, clearly designated and singled out.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 14; see also Fascicule I, p. 18 and Fascicule II, pp. 5 and 18.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks may be directed only against concrete military objectives. A military objective shall be identified and its destruction shall be possible only if there is clear information for targeting.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.3.3.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
283. Bombardment and siege of defended localities are legitimate means of warfare. …
288. In defended towns and localities modern methods of bombardment will inevitably destroy many buildings and sites which are not military objectives. Such destruction, if incidental to the bombardment of military objectives is not unlawful. For example the bombardment of a war factory area may well destroy the houses of workers living in that area. If, on the other hand, bombardment is directed solely against a non-military objective, it is unlawful. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, Articles 283 and 288.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “Military operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 13, § 4(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.4; see also §§ 12.21, 12.26 (air operations) and § 13.27 (maritime warfare).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) explains:
The requirement that attacks be limited to military objectives results from several requirements of international law. The mass annihilation of enemy people is neither humane, permissible, nor militarily necessary. The Hague Regulations prohibit destruction or seizure of enemy property “unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” Destruction as an end in itself is a violation of international law, and there must be some reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of enemy military forces. Various other prohibitions and the Hague Regulations and Hague Convention IX further support the requirement that attacks be directed only at military objectives. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5–3(b)(2); see also Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 56.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) provides: “Attack only military targets.” 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement , Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § 2.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.
The Handbook also states:
An object that meets the definition of a military objective may be attacked even if the object, such as an electric power plant, also serves civilian functions, subject to the requirement to avoid excessive incidental injury and collateral damage. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.3.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Attack only military targets.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.
Colombia
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states: “Military objectives must be adequately identified and may be attacked.” 
Colombia, Directive No. 10, 2007, § IV.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “A combatant shall only direct attacks against military objectives.” 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-10.
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions (1962) Act as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Articles 48 and 52(2), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Peru
Peru’s Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces (2010) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Peru, Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces, 2010, Article 7(b).
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It enunciates as a basic rule in art 48:
“In order to ensure respect for, and protection of, the civilian population and civilian objects, the parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objectives and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.”
The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. That is provided by art 51(2). Moreover, acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks, also, are prohibited. They are defined as attacks which, inter alia, are not directed at a specific military objective, or which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective. Article 52 then provides that civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. The Protocol explains in subart (2) of art 52 what are to be regarded as military objectives:
“Military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.”
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
SECTION I – GENERAL PROTECTION AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF HOSTILITIES
CHAPTER I – BASIC RULE AND FIELDS OF APPLICATION
Article 48 – Basic rule
In order to ensure respect for and protection of … civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.
The targets that on each occasion were attacked with home made bombs at midnight were a mosque in Soweto, railway tracks in Soweto resulting in the death of a woman and injuries to her family, the bridge over the Umtamvuna River between the Eastern Cape and Natal and the Lanseria airport. Where the attempts were unsuccessful, and time mechanisms were also set to go off at midnight, targets included a taxi rank in Soweto and a Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit. However, two workers were injured in Bronkhorstspruit when the bomb was handled and were hospitalised. These targets cannot with the best will in the world be labelled as military targets
… The core remains that only the targeting of military objects is permissible. The targeting of civilian objects is in conflict with the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 68 and 70.
On the question of whether the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law, the Court held:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Spain
In 2010, in the Couso case, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court referred to norms of IHL relevant to the case under review, including Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 15.
Venezuela
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian Government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice stated: “[The] … laws [of war] … seek to limit any attack only to specific belligerents or military targets.” 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 8.
Angola
The Report on the Practice of Angola asserts that military objectives were the only targets of attack during the war of independence, but that the civil war that followed independence was characterized by confusion between military objectives and civilian objects. The report provides a list of examples of alleged attacks against civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Angola, 1998, Chapter 1.3.
Argentina
It is reported that, during the War in the South Atlantic, both parties directed their hostile acts only against military objectives. 
Carlos Horacio Cerdá, El respeto del Derecho International Humanitario durante el Dessarollo del Conflicto Armado del Atlántico Sud, Report on the Practice of Argentina, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Australia
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Australia declared:
It is the understanding of Australia that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
Australia, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 21 June 1991, § 5.
Canada
At the CDDH, Canada stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only attacks that could be directed against non-military objectives. It does not deal with the result of a legitimate attack on military objectives and incidental damage that such attack may cause.” 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 179.
Canada
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Canada stated:
It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to Article 52 that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective.  
Canada, Reservations and statements of understanding made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 20 November 1990, § 8(b).
Denmark
In 2008, in a joint cost benefit analysis of a possible introduction of a national moratorium on all cluster munitions, Denmark’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
[The] provisions, which are outlined below, are generally recognized as being an expression of customary international law. …
The purpose of international humanitarian law is to protect the victims of war as much as possible. The central provision in this regard is API [1977 Additional Protocol] Article 48, which states that: “Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
Denmark, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, A Cost Benefit Analysis of a Possible Introduction of a National Danish Moratorium on All Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008, p. 15.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education stated: “The [Additional] Protocols of 1977 have reaffirmed and spelled [out] in detail … [the principle] of distinction: ‘(…) [P]arties to the conflict shall direct their operations only against military objectives (art. 45, Protocol I; see also art. 13, Protocol II).ˮ 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 188.
Egypt
In a military communiqué issued during the 1973 Middle East conflict, Egypt emphasized that only military objectives could be attacked. 
Egypt, Military Communiqué No. 2, 6 October 1973.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt invoked the requirement to “direct operations only against military objectives”. 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 17.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state: “Attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 66.
France
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France stated: “The Government of the French Republic considers that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives.” 
France, Declarations and reservations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 11 April 2001, § 12.
Germany
In 2009, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) titled “Investigation of serious violations of international humanitarian law in the recent Gaza war”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
17. Given that armed Palestinian groups and their legitimate military objectives are often placed in such populated areas, does the Federal Government consider that it can be justified under international law to subject these populated areas to massive fire even if it can be expected that a large number of injuries and deaths will be caused and will mostly affect the civilian population?
If so, how does the Federal Government justify that such a use of weapons complies with international law?
Under international humanitarian law, attacks must be limited to military objectives. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Winfried Nachtwei, Kerstin Müller (Cologne), Jürgen Trittin, other Members and the Parliamentary Group BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, BT-Drs. 16/12673, 20 April 2009, p. 7.
Germany, Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
is a restatement of the basic rule contained in Article 43 [now Article 48], namely that the Parties to a conflict shall direct their operations only against military objectives. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Germany, Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 188.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, “Iran always insisted that war must be limited to battlefronts … and that all targets were military objectives”. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “Only military targets shall be attacked.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
[footnote in original omitted]
Israel
In July 2010, in a second update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The principle of distinction is a core element of IDF standing orders. All IDF soldiers are instructed that strikes are to be directed only against legitimate military targets”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, 19 July 2010, § 58.
Italy
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Italy declared:
The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. Such a sentence does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Italy, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 27 February 1986, § 8.
Kuwait
The Report on the Practice of Kuwait notes that the choice of targets is strictly limited to military objectives. An attack on a military objective should be allowed only in case of possible gain in the field of operation. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 1.5.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia notes that in practice the security forces direct their attacks only against military targets or targets of military importance. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.3.
Mexico
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”. 
Mexico, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 193.
Netherlands
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”. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 195.
New Zealand
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, New Zealand stated: “The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective.” 
New Zealand, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 8 February 1988, § 4.
Nigeria
The Report on the Practice of Nigeria states that, during the Nigerian civil war, the Nigerian air force, in its raids against rebel enclaves, distinguished between military targets and civilian objects, bombing military targets while assiduously avoiding non-military targets. 
Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Saudi Arabia
In 1991, in reports submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia stated that its air force had carried out numerous sorties against “military targets in Iraq and Kuwait, while avoiding civilian targets”.  
Saudi Arabia, Report dated 30 January 1991 on the progress of operations for the liberation of Kuwait, annexed to Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22180, 31 January 1991, p. 2; Letter dated 6 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22200, 6 February 1991, p. 1.
Spain
In 1993 and 1995, the Government of Spain made specific statements in connection with the armed conflicts in the Gulf and Bosnia and Herzegovina, endorsing the principle that attacks must be directed only against military objectives. 
Spain, Report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence to the Congress Commission on Foreign Affairs on Action by the International Community in Iraq and Developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 18 January 1993, Actividades, Textos y Documentos de la Política Exterior Española, Madrid, 1993, p. 240; Press Conference by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, 31 August 1995, Actividades, Textos y Documentos de la Política Exterior Española, Madrid, 1995, p. 248.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. …
Distinction
International humanitarian law protects the civilian population and prohibits attacks against Civilians and Civilian objects. One of its ground rules is the principle of distinction: the parties to a conflict are obliged to conduct military operations exclusively against Military objectives and must therefore always distinguish between Civilians and Combatants as well as between Civilian objects and Military objectives. …
Military objectives
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and military objectives. … Under international humanitarian law military personnel must at all times give full consideration to the nature of a potential target and opt exclusively for those that qualify as genuine military objectives. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12, 17 and 30.
[emphasis in original]
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “Only attacks against military objectives come within the framework of international humanitarian law, even if these take the form of suicide attacks.” 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.3, p. 12.
Syrian Arab Republic
On the basis of a statement by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN General Assembly in 1997, the Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic asserts that the Syrian Arab Republic considers Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to be part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to Statement by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN General Assembly, 1 October 1997.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1938, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain listed among rules of international law applicable to warfare on land, at sea and from the air the rule that “targets which are aimed at … must be legitimate military targets and must be capable of identification”. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Prime Minister, Sir Neville Chamberlain, 21 June 1938, Hansard, Vol. 337, col. 937.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, the United Kingdom stated that it did not interpret the obligation in the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
as dealing with the question of incidental damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. In its view, the purpose of the first sentence of the paragraph was to prohibit only such attacks as might be directed against non-military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 169, § 153.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
It is reported that, during the War in the South Atlantic, both parties directed their hostile acts only against military objectives. 
Carlos Horacio Cerdá, El respeto del Derecho International Humanitario durante el Dessarollo del Conflicto Armado del Atlántico Sud, Report on the Practice of Argentina, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In reply to questions in the House of Lords and House of Commons concerning military operations during the Gulf War in 1991, the UK Under-Secretary of State for Defence and the Minister of State for the Armed Forces stated that it was a policy of the allies to attack only military targets and facilities that sustained Iraq’s illegal occupation of Kuwait. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, 27 February 1991, Hansard, Vol. 526, Written Answers, col. 52; Statement by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, 28 February 1991, Hansard, Vol. 186, Written Answers, col. 611.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video on IHL produced by the UK Ministry of Defence emphasizes that military operations must be directed only against military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated:
It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 [of Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives; it does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § j.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to a written question in the House of Commons, the UK Secretary of State for Defence wrote:
The military campaign is crafted around the principle of minimum use of force. We attack only military objectives and combatants subject to the constraints of proportionality. If there is any expectation that harm will be caused to civilians, this must not be excessive when set against the direct and concrete military advantage anticipated from the attack. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 9 April 2003, Vol. 403, Written Answers, col. 297W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2010) states: “IHL requires parties to a conflict to respect and protect civilians. In the conduct of military operations they must … only direct attacks against … military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 4.
United States of America
In 1950, the US Secretary of State stated: “The air activity of the United Nations forces in Korea has been, and is, directed solely at military targets of the invader.” 
United States, Statement by the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, 6 September 1950, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 140.
United States of America
At a news briefing in December 1966, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs stated, with reference to inquiries concerning reported incidents resulting from bombing in the vicinity of Hanoi on 13 and 14 December 1966: “The only targets struck by U.S. aircraft were military ones, well outside the city proper.” 
United States, News briefing by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Robert McCloskey, 22 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 426.
United States of America
In December 1966, in reply to an inquiry from a member of the US House of Representatives asking for a restatement of US policy on targeting in North Vietnam, a US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense wrote: “United States policy is to target military targets only. There has been no deviation from this policy.” 
United States, Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Goulding to US Representative Ogden Reid from New York, 30 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 428.
United States of America
At the CDDH, the United States 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. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives.” 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 204.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated: “The military actions initiated by the United States and other States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait … are directed strictly at military and strategic targets.” 
United States, Letter dated 17 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22090, 17 January 1991, p. 2.
United States of America
In 1991, in a diplomatic note to Iraq concerning operations in the Gulf War, the United States asserted: “The United States and other coalition forces are only attacking targets of military value in Iraq.” 
United States, Department of State, Diplomatic Note to Iraq, Washington, 21 January 1991, annexed to Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated that Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I “is generally regarded as a codification of the customary practice of nations, and therefore binding on all”. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 625.
The report further stated: “CINCCENT [Commander-in-Chief, Central Command] conducted a theater campaign directed solely at military targets.” 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 644.
Assembly of the League of Nations
In a resolution adopted in 1938 concerning the protection of civilian populations against air bombardment in case of war, the Assembly of the League of Nations stated: “Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military targets and must be identifiable.” 
League of Nations, Assembly, Resolution adopted on 30 September 1938, § I(2), Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 182, Records of the XIXth Ordinary Session of the Assembly, pp. 15–17.
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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Galić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated: “[I]n accordance with the principles of distinction and protection of the civilian population, only military objectives may be lawfully attacked.” 
ICTY, Galić case, Judgment, 5 December 2003, § 51.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that they have an obligation to limit attacks strictly to military targets. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 428.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(1) of the draft Additional Protocol I, which stated in part: “Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
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