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.
Additional Protocol I
Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack.” 
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 52(1). Article 52 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.
Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 2(1) of the 1980 Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons states: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to make … civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.” 
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 10 October 1980, Article 2(1).
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(7) of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct [mines, booby-traps and other devices], either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against … civilian objects”. 
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 3(7).
International Criminal Court
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(b)(ii).
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Pursuant to Article 3(b) of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, it is prohibited “to destroy the enemy’s civilian buildings and installations by shelling, blasting or any other means”. 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3(b).
Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles
In the 1991 Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, the presidents of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia accepted to apply the fundamental principle that “civilian property must not be attacked”. 
Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, signed by the Presidents of the Six Republics of the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 5 November 1991.
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(1) 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(1) 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.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “Attacks on … civilian objects are prohibited.” 
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.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(ii), “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(ii).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides:
4.03 Protection of civilian and civilian objects. The prohibition of attacking civilian persons or civilian objects comprises all acts of violence, whether offensive or defensive. Indiscriminate attacks are included in such prohibition.
4.45 … Objects of a civilian nature shall not be subject to attack nor reprisal. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, §§ 4.03 and 4.45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides that intentionally attacking civilian objects is a grave breach. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 8.03.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
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. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 210; see also § 503(b) and 531.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.11 … Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack …
9.17 Military operations may only be directed against military objectives and not against the civilian population and civilian objects. …
9.18 It follows from the general rule that it is forbidden to attack the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.11 and 9.17–9.18; see also §§ 5.3 and 5.35.
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 to “respect civilian objects” and to “not destroy them”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 10.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects: the former can be subjected to attack, the later cannot.” 
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; see also p. 27.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides that it is prohibited “to attack the civilian population, individuals and civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Civilian objects may not be attacked.” 
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. 19; see also p. 35.
The Regulations also states: “Combatants and military objectives are legitimate targets, [whereas] … civilian objects are not.” 
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. 15.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “Throughout all military operations, both in the attack as in defence, some behaviour is forbidden and remains contrary to the laws of war. Example: … to bomb and destroy civilian objects”. 
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. 150.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “Civilian Victims of Armed Conflict”, lists “bombarding and destroying civilian objects” as an example of “conduct that is prohibited and remains contrary to the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law during all military operations, whether in offence or in defence”. 
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. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342.
Under the same heading, the manual also provides that “civilian objects must benefit from both special and general protection”. 
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. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “As a general rule, civilians and civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-4, § 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “As a general rule, civilians and civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 423.
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: “Distinction. As a general rule civilians and civilian objects shall not be the object of attack (acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or defence).” 
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 1 (Basic and team leader instruction) that the 1977 Additional Protocols “require all parties to a conflict and combatants to refrain from attacking … civilian objects”. 
Central African Republic, 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 I, Section V, § 2.
In Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders), the manual states: “Parties to a conflict must at all times … spare … civilian objects.” 
Central African Republic, 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; 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.
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states:
Specially protected objects [including civilian objects] may not:
- be turned into a military objective;
- be used for military ends;
- be attacked. 
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 I, Section II, 2.2; see also Chapter I, Section II, § 2.1.
In Volume 3, the manual also states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: attacking … civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat.” 
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: “Civilian property must not be attacked or used for military purposes.” 
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. 93; see also pp. 16, 35, 36 and 87.
The manual further states that “attacking civilian property” is a war crime. 
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. 78.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “Neither the civilian population as such nor civilian objects may be subjected to attacks.” 
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.
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 cannot be attacked?
- … civilian objects. 
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. 13–15; 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; 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. 65.
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.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Civilian objects may not be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 11.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Civilian objects may not be attacked, except if they become military objectives.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 1.5.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
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 that it is prohibited “to make civilian objects the object of attack”. 
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, § 451.
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.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Spare civilian … property.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Prohibited targets include … civilian objects not being used for military purposes.” 
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.
The manual also states: “The prohibition of attacks on … civilian property includes all attacks whether committed in offence or defence.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 10.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “One of the fundamental features of the rules of war is the distinction between military targets which it is permissible to attack and civilian targets which it is forbidden to attack.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 23.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “A bombardment the only aim of which is to target the civilian population or to destroy or damage civilian objects is prohibited.” 
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, § 13.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 11.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides that it is forbidden “to attack the civilian population, individual civilians or civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 2.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) instructs soldiers not to target civilian objects. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, Article 7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-O, § 11.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Civilian objects may not become the objective of an attack. Attacks must be strictly limited to military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-5.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7–43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Civilian objects must not be targets of attack.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0521; see also § 1029 (non-international armed conflict).
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Civilian objects may not be combat targets.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1032.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Damage to infrastructure and civilian casualties must be avoided or, in any case, kept to a minimum. Damage to civilian objects must in no case be excessive in relation to the purpose to be achieved.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1221.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks may not be directed against … civilian objects”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 524(2)(b) and 624(2)(b).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Civilian persons and objects must be spared.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(C).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct provides: “Civilian persons and objects must be spared.” 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 3.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Civilian objects must be respected.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 18.
The manual further states: “Protected objects are civilian objects which must not be attacked unless they become military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.b.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Civilian objects must be respected”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 19, p. 224.
The manual also states: “Civilian objects must not be attacked unless they become military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 11, p. 419; see also p. 398.
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states: “[C]ivilian population centers, public utilities and other non-military structures, shall be protected and shall not be attacked except when they are used for military purposes.” 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, § 8(g).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
[P]ersons 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 (not 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) states: “Civilian objects are those objects that are not military objectives and therefore should not be attacked.” 
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. 26; see also p. 29.
(emphasis in original)
The manual further states: “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) provides: “The general rule is that civilians and civilian property may not be the subject, or the sole object, of a military attack.” 
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, § 28(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “The general rule is that … civilian property may not be the subject, or the sole object, of a military attack.” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 50(a).
The manual also provides that “[a]ny unlawful attack on a clearly recognised protected object” is a grave breach of the law of armed conflict and a war crime. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 57.
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 are:
- Parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare civilian population and property. 
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:
Basic Categories: Objects
A distinction is made between military objectives and civilian objects (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, p. 53.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be subjected to attacks.” 
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, § 4.5.b.(2).b.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Civilian objects must not be the object of attack.” 
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, § 4.5.b.(2).(b).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “Civilian objects and civilian property may not constitute objectives for attack or be subjected to reprisals.” 
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. 53.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
197. … Attacks against the civilian population or their property are prohibited at any time and in any place. …
225. Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
234 Violations of the international law of armed conflict are punished according to the provisions of the Swiss Penal Code or the Military Criminal Code.
236 Under Art. 109 of the Military Criminal Code, any person who violates the provisions of international treaties on the conduct of war and the protection of persons and goods or other recognized laws and customs of war is liable to imprisonment of up to three years or in serious cases of up to 20 years. In minor cases, disciplinary sanctions apply.
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
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, §§ 197, 225, 234 and 236–237.
[emphasis in original]
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides that it is prohibited “to attack the civilian population, individuals and civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat”. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 12.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
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, § 288.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides that it is forbidden to attack “civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare”. 
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. 14, § 5(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides: “The civilian population and individual civilians must not be attacked and must be protected against the dangers arising from military operations; civilian objects are similarly protected.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.26.
In its chapter on the conduct of hostilities, under the heading “Immunity of Civilian Objects”, the manual quotes from Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24.
In a footnote to this quotation, the manual states: “The UK has reserved the right to take reprisal action against civilian objects in certain circumstances.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24, footnote 100.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual states: “Civilian property must not be attacked.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.16.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be made the object of attack.” 
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(a)(1)(b).
The Pamphlet also states:
In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … (4) aerial bombardment for the deliberate purpose of … destroying protected areas, buildings or objects. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3(c)(4).
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) states:
Avoid harming civilian property unless necessary to save US lives. Do not attack traditional civilian objects, such as houses, unless they are being used by the enemy for military purposes and neutralization assists in mission accomplishment. 
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, § G.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of attack.” 
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), § 8.1.2.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with armed conflict.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(3), p. IV-4.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of deliberate or indiscriminate attack.” 
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.
The Handbook also states: “Commanders … must distinguish valid military objectives from … civilian objects before attacking.” 
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, § 5.3.2.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 5(3), p. IV-4.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides: “Civilian objects … may not be the object of attack.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 73.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Spare civilian … objects.” 
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.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.36 War crime – attacking civilian objects
A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator directs an attack; and
(b) the object of the attack is not a military objective; and
(c) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.36, p. 326.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “attacking civilian objects” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.36.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides that, in international and non-international armed conflicts, attacks against civilian objects are prohibited. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 15.
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
14. intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(14).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
8 bis. intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1ter, § 1(8bis).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states that in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing an “[a]ttack on civilian settlement[s]”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 173(1)(a).
Burundi
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:
B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
b) launching deliberate attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(b).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:
2. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
2°. Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 198(2)(2°).
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).
Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 2015, states:
Article 139
Whoever commits a war crime is punished with life imprisonment.
War crimes are:
2 - other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
- intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives[.] 
Côte d’Ivoire, Penal Code, 1981, as amended in 2015, Article 139.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack against … civilian objects”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “an attack against an object not used for military purposes” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 106.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states that it “is … prohibited [for combatants] to destroy or seize civilian objects, except in the case of military necessity”. 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-10.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Intentionally launching attacks against civilian objects which are not military objectives is punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment.” 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-14.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), any war crime provided for by the 1998 ICC Statute, which is not explicitly mentioned in the Code, such as “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” in international armed conflicts, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(d).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “directs an attack by military means against civilian objects, so long as these objects are protected as such by international humanitarian law”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 11(1)(1).
Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, a military commander who “pursues a war operation which causes serious damage to … goods of the civilian population” is guilty, upon conviction, of a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978 as amended in 1998, Section 160(a).
Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, including objects which do not constitute military objectives” as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(A) and (4)(B).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 52(1), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, states that “bombardment, the sole purpose of which is … to destroy or damage objects which are of no military interest,” is prohibited. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 42.
Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “intentionally directing attacks against … civilian [objects] which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(i)(2).
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects that are not military objectives” is a crime, when committed in an international armed conflict. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(5)(a).
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crime defined in Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).
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).
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … directs an attack … against any other civil object, provided they are not military objectives.” 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 106(f).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:
2. Directs an attack by any means against civilian objects if they are protected by international humanitarian law. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 95(2).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter titled “Crimes involving the use of prohibited methods in the conduct of hostilities”, states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than six years and not more than twenty-five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
2. Attacks civilian objects by any means, provided that these objects are protected by International Humanitarian Law. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 91(2).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[d]irecting attacks against civilian objects” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 13(1)(2).
Acts constituting the crime of Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi and other crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of Mediation Committee
Notwithstanding of the value of the subject matter and the address of the parties to proceedings, offences related to looting and damaging of property committed between October 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994, which were within the jurisdiction of Gacaca Courts shall be tried by the Mediation Committees applying laws governing these committees regardless that they were committed by civilians, gendarmes or soldiers. Offenders shall be ordered to pay compensation. 
Rwanda, Organic Law terminating Gacaca Courts and determining mechanisms for solving issues which were under their jurisdiction, 2012, Article 6.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that ordering or committing an attack on “civilian … settlements”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 372(1).
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes a commander who in a military operation intentionally “causes harm to the … property of civilians or the civilian population”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 262(2)(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects” in international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, § (b)(ii).
South Africa
South Africa’s Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act (2008) states: “No person may use or direct any mine, booby-trap or other device … either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population or against individual civilians or civilian objects”. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 6(d).
The Act also states: “No person may … make the civilian population, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons”. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 7(a).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes
anyone who, during an armed conflict, … attacks … civilian objects of the adverse party causing their destruction, provided the objects do not, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offer a definite military advantage nor make an effective contribution to the military action of the adversary. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 613(1)(b).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:
d. Attacking, or making the object of … acts of hostility, … civilian objects of the adverse party, causing their destruction, provided that in the circumstances ruling at the time such property does not offer a definite military advantage nor makes an effective contribution to the military action of the adversary;
2. … In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 23 June 2010, Article 613(1)(d) and (2).
Sudan
Sudan’s Armed Forces Act (2007) provides:
Subject to provisions of the Criminal Act of 1991, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, whoever knowingly and voluntarily violates the laws and customs regulating armed conflicts, intentionally, and without military necessity:
(b) directs attacks against civilian targets, in their capacity as such, with his/her knowledge that such attack will result in casualties or loss of lives, unless such targets were used for military purposes. 
Sudan, Armed Forces Act, 2007, Article 153.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
c. civilian objects … that are not military objectives. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112(1)(c).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264d
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
c. civilian objects … that are not military objectives. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264d (1)(c).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
(b) OFFENSES. – The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS. – Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2626, § 950v(b)(3).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(3).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
10. Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.10.
Yemen
Under Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), “attacks on public and private civilian installations” are war crimes. 
Yemen, Military Criminal Code, 1998, Article 21(7).
Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a decision of the Council of State in 1994 which considered the guerrilla attack on the Palace of Justice as a terrorist attack directed against a civilian object. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.3, referring to Council of State, Administrative Case No. 9276, Judgment, 19 August 1994.
Croatia
In 1997, a court in Croatia sentenced 39 people, both soldiers and commanders, to prison terms ranging from 5 to 20 years on charges which included attacks on civilian property, churches, schools and a dam. 
Croatia, District Court of Split, RA. R. case, Judgment, 26 May 1997.
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 57(5) 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: “Attacks on innocent people who have no relationship to the interests at stake or to the problem … are not justified even in a military war. … [These are] governed by laws that prohibit attacks … on non-military targets”. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 8.
Belgium
The Report on the Practice of Belgium states that Belgium considered itself bound by the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects even before the adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Report on the Practice of Belgium, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Croatia
In a letter to the President of the UN Security Council in 1992, Croatia expressed strong protest over attacks it alleged were carried out against the civilian population and civilian facilities in the wider area of the town of Slavonski Brod launched by Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN Protected Area territories in Croatia and which it considered contrary to Articles 51 and 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Croatia, Letter dated 24 August 1992 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24481, 25 August 1992, p. 3.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts, the representative of Cuba stated:
Increasingly, the civilian population are the victims and direct targets of all kinds of abuses committed by armed forces involved in conflicts … The constant imperialist aggression and permanent interference in the internal affairs of third world countries, … [and] the systematic destruction of the infrastructure of these countries … are [among] the fundamental causes of current violations of international humanitarian law. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 86: The Status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts, 13 October 2010, p. 1.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Distinction”, stated that “[i]t is prohibited to attack civilian objects”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “[O]ffences related to violations of humanitarian law”, listed “intentionally directing attacks … against civilian objects that are not military objectives”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 210.
Egypt
On the basis of a military communiqué issued by Egypt during the 1973 Middle East conflict, the Report on the Practice of Egypt states that Egypt considers that civilian objects should be immune from attacks. The report also refers to a letter from the Counsel of the Egyptian President to the US Secretary of State condemning Israeli attacks on civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to Military Communiqué No. 63, 26 October 1973, and Letter from Hafez Ismail, Counsel to the Egyptian President, to Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, 11 October 1973.
European Community
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the European Community and its member States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”.  
European Community, USSR and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
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: “Civilian property shall not be made the object of attack.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 66.
Iraq
In 1984, in reply to criticism for alleged attacks against civilian objects during the hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of Iraq stated: “Our aircraft did not bomb civilian targets in Baneh during their raid of 5 June; they bombed a camp in which a large body of Iranian forces was concentrated.” 
Iraq, Message from the President of Iraq, annexed to Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16610, 19 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iranian authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliament, condemned Iraqi attacks on civilian objects, which Iran always regarded as war crimes. The report further points out that Iran always insisted that war must be limited to battlefronts and that it had no intention of attacking civilian objects. When Iraq accused Iran of bombarding civilian targets, Iranian military communiqués denied these allegations and claimed that Iranian attacks were limited to military or economic facilities. The report concludes that “in practice, civilian objects were not targeted, except [in] reprisal”. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3; see also Chapter 6.5 (definition of war crimes).
Israel
In 2007, the Government of Israel stated in a diplomatic note:
Damage to property [caused by Hizbullah’s missile attacks] was also heavy: in total, some 12,000 civilian buildings were damaged, among them about 400 public buildings, while about 2,000 private homes and apartments were completely destroyed. In addition, 23 schools, four kindergartens and two community centers were damaged. During the conflict, hospitals were damaged in Nahariya, Haifa, Safed and Mizra. One of them – a psychiatric hospital – had to be evacuated.
Significant damage was also inflicted on infrastructure: sewage plants were damaged and, in some cases, sewage had to be released into the sea and atmosphere (by burning). Over 50 km of roads were damaged and 2 km² of cultivated forest, as well as 40 km² of natural woodland, were destroyed by fires caused by the missiles. All these clearly constitute civilian objects, which are protected from attack by international law, and whose destruction served no military purpose whatsoever. 
Israel, Israel’s War with Hizbullah. Preserving Humanitarian Principles While Combating Terrorism, Diplomatic Notes No. 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, April 2007, p. 5.
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: “Any attack against civilian objectives shall be prohibited.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
The report also stated: “Special precautions were to be taken when conducting military activities near U.N. or diplomatic premises”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 224.
Israel
In July 2010, in a second update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “IDF orders and doctrine strictly prohibit the intentional targeting of … civilian objects”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, 19 July 2010, § 58.
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.
Mozambique
In a communiqué issued in 1992, the Council of Ministers of Mozambique stated that it considered that:
RENAMO’s behaviour, namely … launching offensives against civilian targets, in a deliberate strategy of conquest of territories and strategic positions … constitutes a grave and systematic violation that seriously jeopardizes the General Peace Agreement. 
Mozambique, Communiqué issued by the Council of Ministers, 20 October 1992, annexed to Letter dated 23 October 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/24724, 28 October 1992, p. 4.
Norway
In 2009, in a statement on Gaza before the UN General Assembly, the permanent representative of Norway stated:
Norway strongly condemns Israel’s shelling of the Headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. UNRWA is the lifeline and the safety net for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. UNRWA has continued to deliver assistance to Palestinian refugees under dangerous circumstances throughout this conflict. Norway also strongly condemns Israel’s shelling of the al-Quds Hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent. Such attacks are completely unacceptable and contrary to international law. 
Norway, Statement by the permanent representative of Norway before the UN General Assembly during a debate on Gaza, 16 January 2009.
Russian Federation
The Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation considers that while there are no clear-cut criteria of distinction between military objectives and civilian objects, the relevant military instructions refer to the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects and the protection of these objects. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Russian Federation
In 2008, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated: “The United Nations must rapidly and effectively respond to incidents of … the destruction of civilian facilities during armed conflict.” 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 5898th meeting, 27 May 2008.
Rwanda
The Report on the Practice of Rwanda considers the prohibition on targeting civilian objects as a required precaution in attack. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Chapter 1.6.
In situations of armed conflict, while the primary responsibility of the protection of civilians rests with the State, we equally remind non-State actors and the United Nations, including peacekeepers and other humanitarian actors, to prioritize the protection of civilians. Rwanda therefore calls upon the parties to fully observe strict compliance with international law, to avoid targeting civilian objects, to stop militarizing camps and to allow access to humanitarian assistance. 
Rwanda, Statement by the Political Coordinator of Rwanda before the UN Security Council during a meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/PV.7019, 19 August 2013, p. 20.
Slovenia
In 1992, in a note verbale addressed to the UN Secretary-General, Slovenia expressed its readiness to provide information concerning violations of IHL committed by members of the Yugoslav Army during the 10-day conflict with Slovenia, including “bombing, shooting and destroying civilian targets and private property”. 
Slovenia, Note verbale dated 5 November 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/24789, 9 November 1992, p. 2.
Somalia
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated: “The Government forces are also bound to respect customary IHL rules relating to the prohibited methods and means of warfare including … the prohibition of intentional … attacks against civilian objects”. 
Somalia, Report to the Human Rights Council, 11 April 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/11/SOM/1, § 76.
South Africa
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development stated:
[W]e welcome the expansion of the trigger mechanism for punitive measures against those committing recurrent attacks on schools and hospitals. We are concerned about the emerging trend of such attacks. We call on all parties involved in conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and to refrain from attacks against civilian targets, particularly those where children might be present.  
South Africa, Statement by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, 12 July 2011.
Sweden
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Sweden stated: “Under the principle of distinction, an attack on a civilian population or civilian property is prohibited.” 
Sweden, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 3; see also Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 2 June 1994, p. 3.
Switzerland
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “International humanitarian law also limits the conduct of military operations permissible under international law. Thus[,] for example, attacks against protected groups and property such as civilians and civilian property … are forbidden.” 
Switzerland, Report by the Swiss Federal Council on Private Security and Military Companies, 2 December 2005, Section 5.3.1, pp. 45–46.
Switzerland
In 2008, in its response to a question by a member of the National Council, Switzerland’s Federal Council wrote:
1. In its press release of 7 March 2008, the FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs] condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against an institute of Talmudic studies in Jerusalem …
2. Attacks directed against … civilian objects are a clear violation of international humanitarian law. 
Switzerland, National Council, Response by the Federal Council to Interpellation No. 08.3127, 14 May 2008, p. 1.
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. …
Conduct of hostilities
Not all Means and methods of warfare are allowed in an Armed conflict. International humanitarian law stipulates the military operations, tactics and weapons that are permissible. The two generally accepted principles of Distinction and Proportionality are the basis for a number of specific rules such as the prohibition of direct attacks on the civilian population or on Civilian objects, …
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.
Terrorism
The concept of “terrorism” has not yet been defined in International law. International law, Human rights and international humanitarian law nonetheless do prohibit many terrorism related acts and activities. In fact, according to international humanitarian law, acts generally considered as acts of terrorism, such as strikes against the civilian population or Civilian [o]bjects, … , are prohibited both in international and non-international armed conflict. …
War crimes
War crimes are grave breaches of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 protecting persons and objects[,] as well as other serious violations of the laws and customs that apply to an international or non-international Armed conflict. War crimes include notably: … wilful attacks against Civilians and against Civilian objectives[.] 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12, 13–14, 17, 30, 39 and 40. In the French version of this brochure, the sentence “War crimes include notably: … wilful attacks against Civilians and against Civilian objectives” reads “Parmi ces infractions, citons … l’attaque intentionnelle contre des civils ou des biens civils” (see ABC du Droit International Humanitaire, 2014, 2nd revised edition, p. 21).
Switzerland
In 2013, in answer to an interpellation in Parliament regarding the use of drones, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
In armed conflicts, strikes carried out with armed drones must respect the rules of the conduct of hostilities as stipulated by international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and must therefore not be directed against civilians or civilian objects. For each strike, it is thus necessary to verify that these principles were respected. 
Switzerland, Answer by the Federal Council to interpellation 13.3245 in Parliament regarding the use of drones, 29 May 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks … against civilian infrastructure … Such attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland during an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, 24 October 2013.
United Arab Emirates
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates stated that arbitrary bombings of civilian regions were a violation of IHL and of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and referred to an ICRC statement condemning such actions on the part of Israel. 
United Arab Emirates, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 17.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, following the adoption of Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52), the United Kingdom stated that it “welcomed the reaffirmation, in paragraph 2, of the customary law rule that civilian objects must not be the direct object of attack”. 
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
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the United Kingdom stated that attacks directed at civilian targets must be put to an end. 
United Kingdom, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 13.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in a written answer to a question concerning, inter alia, “the implications under the Geneva Conventions of the targeting by Israel of civilian facilities and infrastructure in Gaza”, the UK Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated: “We are opposed to the targeting of civilian facilities and call upon Israel to respect international law.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 10 July 2006, Vol. 448, Written Answers, col. 1522W.
United States of America
In 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: “No United States aircraft have been ordered to strike any civilian targets in North Vietnam at any time … We have no knowledge that any pilot has disobeyed his orders and deliberately attacked these or any other nonmilitary targets in North Vietnam.” 
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
In 1974, at the Lucerne Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, the head of the US delegation stated that “the law of war also prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian objects as such”. 
United States, Statement of 25 September 1974 at the Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, Lucerne, 24 September–18 October 1974, reprinted in Arthur W. Rovine, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1974, Department of State Publication 8809, Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 713.
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: “Over 52,000 coalition air sorties have been carried out since hostilities began on 16 January. These sorties were not flown against any civilian or religious targets.” 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 1
United States of America
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the European Community and its member States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
United States of America
In 1993, in its report to Congress on the protection of natural and cultural resources during times of war, the US Department of Defense stated:
The United States considers the obligations to protect natural, civilian, and cultural property to be customary international law … Cultural property, civilian objects, and natural resources are protected from intentional attack so long as they are not utilized for military purposes. 
United States, Department of Defense, Report to Congress on International Policies and Procedures Regarding the Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources During Times of War, 19 January 1993, p. 202.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the USSR, together with the European Community and its member States and the United States, stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
In the Legality of Use of Force cases in 1999, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia initiated proceedings before the ICJ against ten NATO member States (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States) on the ground, inter alia, that “by taking part in attacks on civilian targets, [the respective States had] acted against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in breach of [their] obligation to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects”. 
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of, Applications instituting proceedings submitted to the ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Belgium; Yugoslavia v. Canada; Yugoslavia v. France; Yugoslavia v. Germany; Yugoslavia v. Italy; Yugoslavia v. Netherlands; Yugoslavia v. Portugal; Yugoslavia v. Spain; Yugoslavia v. United Kingdom; Yugoslavia v. United States of America), 29 April 1999.
In its memorial submitted to the ICJ in 2000, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia further specified:
- by attacks on civilian targets, and by inflicting damage, injuries and losses to civilians and civilian objects, [the respective States had] acted against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in breach of [their] obligation to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. 
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of, Memorial submitted to the ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom), 5 January 2000, p. 351.
The ICJ had found in 1999 that it manifestly lacked jurisdiction in the cases against Spain and the United States and had ordered the removal of these cases from the ICJ’s general list. 
ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Spain; Yugoslavia v. United States of America), Provisional Measures, Orders, 2 June 1999, ICJ Reports 1999, p. 761; p. 916.
The ICJ further found, in its judgments on the preliminary objections in 2004, that it lacked jurisdiction also with regard to the remaining eight cases. 
ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Serbia and Montenegro v. Belgium; Serbia and Montenegro v. Canada; Serbia and Montenegro v. France; Serbia and Montenegro v. Germany; Serbia and Montenegro v. Italy; Serbia and Montenegro v. Netherlands; Serbia and Montenegro v. Portugal; Serbia and Montenegro v. United Kingdom), Preliminary Objections, Judgments, 15 December 2004, ICJ Reports 2004, p. 279; p. 429; p. 575; p. 720; p. 865; p. 1011; p. 1160; p. 1307.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on Lebanon, the UN Security Council stated that it was gravely concerned by all attacks on civilian targets. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1052, 18 April 1996, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks on objects protected under international law” and called on all parties “to put an end to such practices”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1265, 17 September 1999, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on children in armed conflict, the UN Security Council, inter alia, strongly condemned certain crimes involving children in armed conflict, including “attacks against schools and hospitals”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1539, 22 April 2004, § 1, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1995, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council condemned “any shelling of civilian targets” in and around Croatia. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1995/38, 4 August 1995, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President on children and armed conflict, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks against schools and hospitals by parties to armed conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/48, 28 November 2006, p. 2.
Assembly of the League of Nations
In a resolution adopted in 1938 on 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 objectives 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.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN General Assembly condemned “the use of cluster bombs on civilian targets by Bosnian Serb and Croatian Serb forces”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, § 5, voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN General Assembly urged the Government of Sudan “to cease immediately all aerial attacks on civilian targets and other attacks that are in violation of international humanitarian law”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 51/112, 12 December 1996, § 8, voting record: 100-16-50-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the human rights situation arising from the recent Israeli military operations in Lebanon, the UN General Assembly:
Condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including the bombardment by Israeli military forces of Lebanese civilians causing extensive loss of life and injuries, including among children, immense destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital civilian infrastructure, and the displacement of up to one million Lebanese civilians and outflows of refugees fleeing heavy shelling and bombardment directed against the civilian population, thus exacerbating the magnitude of human suffering in Lebanon.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/154, 19 December 2006, § 1, voting record: 112-7-64-9.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “attacks against non-military targets”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1993/7, 23 February 1993, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the “attacks against civilian targets”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/75, 9 March 1994, § 1, voting record: 41-1-10.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of Sudan “to explain without delay the circumstances of the recent air attacks on civilian targets in southern Sudan”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/79, 9 March 1994, § 6, voting record: 35-9-9.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the use of cluster and napalm bombs against civilian targets by Bosnian and Croatian Serb forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/89, 8 March 1995, § 5, voting record: 44-0-7.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 entitled “The grave situation of human rights in Lebanon caused by Israeli military operations”, the UN Human Rights Council:
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, relevant human rights instruments and international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 on the Laws and Customs of War on Land which prohibit attacks and bombardment of civilian populations and objects and lay down obligations for general protection against dangers arising from military operations against civilian objects, hospitals, relief materials and means of transportation,
3. Also condemns the Israeli bombardment of vital civilian infrastructure resulting in extensive destruction and heavy damage to public and private properties;
6. Calls upon Israel to stop immediately military operations against the civilian population and civilian objects resulting in death and destruction and serious violations of human rights. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. S-2/1, 11 August 2006, preamble and §§ 3 and 6, voting record: 27-11-8.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on UNIFIL in Lebanon, the UN Secretary-General noted that in the text of a partial ceasefire concluded on 27 April 1996, Israel agreed not to fire or aim any kind of weapon at civilians or civilian targets in Lebanon. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/1996/575, 20 July 1996, § 24.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
The prohibition of direct attacks against civilian objects was a constant preoccupation in the periodic reports on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia submitted by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights. For example, in his third report in 1993, the Special Rapporteur considered the shelling of civilian objects as a feature of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, citing the bombing of the central mosque in Sarajevo and of the city of Dobrinja. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Third periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/6, 26 August 1993, § 37.
In the final recommendations of his fifth periodic report, the Special Rapporteur requested that in the conduct of hostilities in the UN Protected Areas, the parties refrain from all further shelling of civilian objects. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Fifth periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/47, 17 November 1993, §§ 10, 45, 65–67, 92–96, 161–164 and 235.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated:
The concealment of Bosnian Government forces among civilian property may have caused the attraction of fire from the Bosnian Serb Army which may have resulted in legitimate collateral damage. There is enough apparent damage to civilian objects in Sarajevo to conclude that either civilian objects have been deliberately targeted or they have been indiscriminately attacked. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, Annex, § 206.
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Addressing the President of the UN Security Council as members of the Contact Group of the OIC in 1992, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Turkey protested against “the continued aggression of the Serbian elements who, through artillery and air attacks on civilian targets, continue to violate the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law and the basic norms of civilized behaviour”. 
OIC, Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Letter dated 5 October 1992 from Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Turkey to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24620, 6 October 1992, p. 1.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent requested that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that:
in the conduct of hostilities, every effort is made – in addition to the total ban on directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities or against civilian objects – … to protect civilian objects including cultural property, places of worship and diplomatic facilities. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(a).
International Court of Justice
In its advisory opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1996, the ICJ stated: “The cardinal principles contained in the texts constituting the fabric of humanitarian law are the following. The first is aimed at the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects.” 
ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, Advisory Opinion, 8 July 1996, § 78.
International Court of Justice
In its judgment in the Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda) in 2005, the ICJ stated:
The Court … finds that there is sufficient evidence of a reliable quality to support the DRC’s [Democratic Republic of the Congo’s] allegation that the UPDF [Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces] failed to protect the civilian population and to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants in the course of fighting against other troops, especially the FAR [Forces Armées Rwandaises]. According to the report of the inter-agency assessment mission to Kisangani … the armed conflict between Ugandan and Rwandan forces in Kisangani led to “fighting spreading into residential areas and indiscriminate shelling occurring for 6 days … More than 4,000 houses were partially damaged, destroyed or made uninhabitable. Sixty-nine schools were shelled, and other public buildings were badly damaged. Medical facilities and the cathedral were also damaged during the shelling, and 65,000 residents were forced to flee the fighting and seek refuge in nearby forests.” 
ICJ, Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005, § 208.
The Court subsequently found that Uganda, through the conduct of its armed forces, had “violated its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law” for, inter alia, having “destroyed villages and civilian buildings [and having] failed to distinguish between civilian and military targets”. 
ICJ, Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005, §§ 211 and 345(3).
International Criminal Court
In the Abu Garda case, the accused, Chairman and General Coordinator of Military Operations of the United Resistance Front in Darfur, Sudan, was charged, inter alia, with the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, within the meaning of Articles 8(2)(e)(iii) and 25(3)(a) of the 1998 ICC Statute. In its decision on the confirmation of charges in 2010, the Pre-Trial Chamber considered the prohibition on attacks against civilian objects, stating:
85. The Majority notes that, while international humanitarian law offers protection to all civilians in both international armed conflict and armed conflict not of an international character, the same cannot be said of all civilian objects, in respect of which protection differs according to the nature of the conflict. Whereas article 52 of API [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] provides for “general protection of civilian objects” during international armed conflict, such broad protection is not explicitly provided under [the 1977] Additional Protocol II, which only affords protection to a limited number of civilian objects. The negotiators of the Statute were certainly aware of this marked difference between international armed conflict and armed conflict not of an international character. Accordingly, the war crime of attacking civilian objects described in article 8 (2)(b)(ii) has no equivalent in article 8 (2)(e) of the Statute, which pertains to armed conflict not of an international character.
86. During discussions within the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, the Governments of Belgium, Costa Rica, Finland, Hungary, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the Permanent Observer Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations submitted to the Working Group on Elements of Crimes a paper prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on, inter alia, the elements of article 8(2)(e)(iii) of the Statute. In this document it was argued that, although there is no comparable provision under APII [the 1977 Additional Protocol II] to article 52 of API, “the indication found in [the latter] for when an object is no longer entitled to protection as a civilian object might be of relevance in a non-international armed conflict as well”. 
ICC, Abu Garda case, Decision on the confirmation of charges, 8 February 2010, §§ 85–86.
[footnotes in original omitted]
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kupreškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
The protection of civilians in time of armed conflict, whether international or internal, is the bedrock of modern humanitarian law … Indeed, it is now a universally recognised principle, recently restated by the International Court of Justice [in the Nuclear Weapons case], that deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects are absolutely prohibited by international humanitarian law. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 521.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Blaškić case before the ICTY in 1997, the accused was charged with “unlawful attack on civilian objects” in violation of the laws or customs of war. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Second Amended Indictment, 25 April 1997, § 8, Count 4.
In its judgment in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber held: “The parties to the conflict are obliged to attempt to distinguish between military targets and civilian persons or property. Targeting civilians or civilian property is an offence when not justified by military necessity.” 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, § 180.
The Trial Chamber found the accused guilty of “a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute and recognized by Article 52(1) of Additional Protocol I: unlawful attacks on civilian objects”. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, Section VI, Disposition.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Kordić and Čerkez case before the ICTY in 1998, the accused were charged with “unlawful attack on civilian objects” in violation of the laws or customs of war. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, First Amended Indictment, 30 September 1998, §§ 40 and 41, Counts 4 and 6.
In an interlocutory decision in this case in 1999, the ICTY Trial Chamber held that it was “indisputable” that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects was a generally accepted obligation and that as a consequence, “there is no possible doubt as to the customary status” of Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I as it reflects a core principle of humanitarian law “that can be considered as applying to all armed conflicts, whether intended to apply to international or non-international conflicts”. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Decision on the Joint Defence Motion, 2 March 1999, § 31.
In its judgment in 2001, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
Prohibited attacks are those launched deliberately against … civilian objects in the course of an armed conflict and are not justified by military necessity. They must have caused … extensive damage to civilian objects. Such attacks are in direct contravention of the prohibitions expressly recognised in international law including the relevant provisions of Additional Protocol I. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, § 328.
The Tribunal found the accused guilty of “a violation of the laws or customs of war, as recognised by Article 3 [of the 1993 ICTY Statute] (unlawful attack on civilian objects)”. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, Section V, Disposition.
In its judgment on appeal in 2004, the ICTY Appeals Chamber stated, in relation to the level of seriousness of an attack necessary before individual criminal responsibility could be attributed:
65. [A]ttacks in violation of Articles 51 [Protection of the civilian population] and 52 [General protection of civilian objects] of Additional Protocol I are clearly unlawful even without causing serious harm. …
66. [However, t]he Appeals Chamber finds that at the time the unlawful attack occurred in this case, there was no basis for finding that, as a matter of customary international law, State practice or opinio iuris translated the prohibitions under Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I into international crimes, such that unlawful attacks were largely penalized regardless of the showing of a serious result. State practice was not settled as some required the showing of serious injury, death or damage as a result under their national penal legislation, while others did not.
67. … [T]he Appeals Chamber is not satisfied that at the relevant time, a violation of Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I incurred individual criminal responsibility under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute without causing death, serious injury to body or health, or results listed in Article 3 of the Statute, or being of the same gravity. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 December 2004, §§ 65–67.
The Appeals Chamber also noted:
[I]n principle, the crime of unlawful attack on civilian objects does not require proof of a specific amount of civilian destruction as long as there is evidence which proves beyond reasonable doubt that civilian objects were deliberately attacked. However, in a circumstantial case such as the present one, the scale of civilian destruction may be relevant to determine whether an attack is aimed at civilian objects. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 December 2004, § 453.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Miodrag Jokić case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a senior officer in the Yugoslav Navy, was charged with six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, among them “unlawful attacks on civilian objects” (“as recognised by Article 52 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and customary law, punishable under Article [ … ] 3 … of the Statute of the Tribunal”), for his role in the shelling of Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991. The accused was charged as an aider and abettor under Article 7(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute and, alternatively, under Article 7(3) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for command responsibility. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Second Amended Indictment, 27 August 2003, §§ 17–23, Count 5.
Following a plea agreement jointly filed by the accused and the Prosecution, the accused pleaded guilty to the six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. The Trial Chamber accepted the plea and entered a corresponding finding of guilt. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, §§ 5–14.
In the sentencing judgment in 2004, assessing the gravity of the crimes, the Trial Chamber stated:
Three of the crimes to which [the accused] has pleaded guilty entail violations of the duty incumbent upon soldiers to direct their operations only against military objectives. In order to comply with this duty, the military must distinguish civilians from combatants and refrain from targeting the former. The other three crimes entail violations of the duty to distinguish civilian objects from military objectives and not to attack protected objects. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, § 42.
The Trial Chamber sentenced the accused to seven years in prison. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, VI. Disposition, p. 30.
The Appeals Chamber, while vacating the accused’s convictions insofar as they were based on command responsibility, affirmed the sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Judgment on Sentencing Appeal, 30 August 2005, § 27, IX. Disposition, p. 36.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Strugar case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a commander in the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA), was charged, inter alia, with unlawful attacks on civilian objects as a violation of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 of the 1993 ICTY Statute), for his role in conducting a military campaign against the Dubrovnik region of Croatia. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Third Amended Indictment, 10 December 2003, §§ 19–25, Count 5.
In its decision on jurisdiction in 2002, the Trial Chamber reaffirmed the customary status of the prohibition relating to attacks on civilian objects:
18. At the time of the adoption of the Additional Protocols, the overwhelming majority of states regarded the principles enunciated in Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I and in Article 13 of Additional Protocol II as general humanitarian principles. These latter are embodied in some States’ military manuals and contrary practice has consistently met disapproval.
19. The drafting history of the Additional Protocols also clearly indicates the opinio juris of the States … Article 52 entitled “General Protection of Civilian Objects” states that civilian objects enjoy protection from attack and reprisals and contains three paragraphs. These three paragraphs state a general principle of international humanitarian law that civilian objects must not be subject to military attacks. This rule is the necessary pendent of Article 51 of Additional Protocol I, and is a reaffirmation of a similar provision contained in the Geneva Convention IV. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Decision on Defence Preliminary Motion Challenging Jurisdiction, 7 June 2002, §§ 18–19.
The findings of the Trial Chamber were upheld by the Appeals Chamber in its decision on interlocutory appeal in 2002:
[T]he Trial made no error in its finding that, as the Appeals Chamber understood it, the principles prohibiting attacks on civilians and unlawful attacks on civilian objects stated in Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I and Article 13 of Additional Protocol II are principles of customary international humanitarian law. Customary international law establishes that a violation of these principles entails individual criminal responsibility. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Decision on Interlocutory Appeal, 22 November 2002, § 10.
In its Rule 98bis decision in 2004, the Trial Chamber referred to the elements of unlawful attacks on civilian objects as a violation of the laws or customs of war:
62. … [C]ivilian objects enjoy a similar level of protection as a civilian population. Article 52 of the Additional Protocol I stipulates that “[c]ivilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals” and “civilian objects are all objects which are not 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 case of doubt as to whether an object is used for civilian or military purposes, this object shall be presumed not to be used for military purposes.
63. The jurisprudence of the Tribunal identifies the following elements of this crime: actus reus – an attack launched against civilian objects and causing damage to those objects; mens rea – “an attack must have been conducted intentionally in the knowledge, or when it was impossible not to know, that […] civilian property [was] being targeted”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Rule 98bis Decision, 21 June 2004, §§ 62–63.
In its judgment in 2005, the Trial Chamber reaffirmed again the customary status of the prohibition:
223. The offence of attacking civilian objects is a breach of a rule of international humanitarian law. As already ruled by the Chamber in the present case and upheld by the Appeals Chamber, Article 52, referred to in respect of the count of attacking civilian objects, is a reaffirmation and reformulation of a rule that had previously attained the status of customary international law.
224. The Chamber observes that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects is set out only in Article 52 of Additional Protocol I, referred to in relation to Count 5. Additional Protocol II does not contain provisions on attacking civilian objects. Nonetheless, as the Appeals Chamber found, the rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects has evolved to become applicable also to conflicts of an internal nature. The Appeals Chamber noted that already during the Spanish Civil War the tendency to disregard the distinction between international and internal armed conflicts could be observed. Both the republican Government and third States insisted that certain rules applicable to international wars applied also to that war. Among those rules there was the prohibition of attacks on non-military objectives. The Appeals Chamber further referred to the 1970 General Assembly resolution concerning the protection of civilians in “armed conflicts of all types”. In that resolution the General Assembly affirmed a number of basic principles, including the prohibition of making dwellings and other installations used only by civilian populations, as well as places and areas designated for the sole protection of civilians, the object of military operations. The Chamber therefore concludes that despite the lack of a provision similar to Article 52 in Additional Protocol II, the general rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects also applies to internal conflicts.
225. … [T]he Chamber notes that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects is aimed at protecting those objects from the danger of being damaged during an attack. It further reiterates that a prohibition against attacking civilian objects is a necessary complement to the protection of civilian populations. The Chamber observes that in the above-mentioned 1970 resolution of the General Assembly the prohibition of making civilian dwellings and installations the object of military operations was listed among the “basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts”. Those principles were reaffirmed because of the “need for measures to ensure the better protection of human rights in armed conflicts”. The General Assembly also emphasised that civilian populations were in “special need of increased protection in time of armed conflicts”. The principle of distinction, which obliges the parties to the conflict to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives, was considered “basic” by the drafters of Additional Protocol I. The Chamber therefore finds that the prohibition at issue is a rule protecting important values. Similarly to what it has found in respect of the attacks on civilians, the Chamber considers that, in view of the fundamental nature of this prohibition, any attack against civilian objects, even if it did not cause any damage, can be considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law. All the same, the Chamber recalls that the requirement of seriousness contains also the element of gravity of consequences for the victim. The Chamber is of the view that, unlike in the case of attacks on civilians, the offence at hand may not necessarily meet the threshold of “grave consequences” if no damage occurred. Therefore, the assessment of whether those consequences were grave enough to bring the offence into the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute should be carried out on the basis of the facts of the case. The Chamber observes that in the present case it is alleged that the attacks against civilian objects, with which the Accused is charged, did incur damage to those objects. It will thus pursue the examination of the case on the assumption that the attacks as charged in the Indictment did bring about grave consequences for their victims. … The Chamber would only need to return to the analysis of applicability of Article 3 of the Statute if the evidence on the alleged damage were to fail to demonstrate the validity of the Prosecution allegations to such an extent as to render it questionable whether the consequences of the attack were grave for its victims. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment, 31 January 2005, §§ 223–225.
The Trial Chamber furthermore noted the finding of the Appeals Chamber that “under customary international law a violation of the rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects entails individual criminal responsibility”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment, 31 January 2005, § 226.
In its judgment in 2008, the Appeals Chamber affirmed its previous jurisprudence in the Blaškić and Kordić and Čerkez cases, regarding military necessity as a justification for attacks, stating that “the element of the non-justification by military necessity present in the crime of devastation not justified by military necessity is indeed not present in the crime of attack against civilian objects”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 July 2008, § 330.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Dragomir Milošević case, the accused, who had been chief of staff to the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) and later became the corps commander, was convicted of, inter alia, the crime of terror as a violation of the laws and customs of war for his role in the siege of Sarajevo. In its judgment in the case in 2009, the ICTY Appeals Chamber considered whether the proportion of civilians present in an area could have an effect on the application of the principle of distinction. The Appeals Chamber stated that
considering the obligations incumbent upon combatants to distinguish and target exclusively military objectives, the Appeals Chamber finds Milošević’s argument regarding the proportion of civilians present in areas “replete with military objectives” unpersuasive. 
ICTY, Dragomir Milošević case, Judgment on Appeal, 12 November 2009, § 54.
(footnote in original omitted)
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its final report to the ICTY Prosecutor in 2000, the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated:
Attacks which are not directed against military objectives (particularly attacks directed against the civilian population) … may constitute the actus reus for the offence of unlawful attack [as a violation of the laws and customs of war]. The mens rea for the offence is intention or recklessness, not simple negligence. 
ICTY, Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, The Hague, 14 June 2000, § 28.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims (Eritrea’s Claim) partial award in 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the prohibition on attacks against civilian objects, stated that “[e]ven in areas where combat is occurring, … civilian objects cannot lawfully be made objects of attack. … The provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Geneva Protocol I cited … express customary international humanitarian law. Those provisions … prohibit targeting … civilian objects”. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 19 December 2005, §§ 27 and 95.
(footnote in original omitted)
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Civilian objects may not be attacked, unless they become military objectives.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 209.
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(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I, which stated in part: “Objects which are not military objectives shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
ICRC
In a Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law sent in 1990 to all States party to the Geneva Conventions in the context of the Gulf War, the ICRC stated: “The following general rules are recognized as binding on any party to an armed conflict: … It is forbidden to attack civilian persons or objects.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law, 14 December 1990, § II, IRRC, No. 280, 1991, p. 24.
National Societies (Yugoslavia & Hungary)
In a joint statement issued in 1991, the Yugoslav Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross expressed their deep concern about “the protracting internal conflict in Yugoslavia” and urged the parties to the conflict “to save all non-military targets … and not to use them for military purposes”. 
Yugoslav Red Cross and Hungarian Red Cross, Joint Statement, Subotica, 25 October 1991.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh of their obligation “to refrain from attacking civilians and civilian property”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/25, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: 60,000 civilians flee fighting in south-western Azerbaijan, 19 August 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Georgia of their obligation “to refrain from attacking civilians and civilian property”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/31, Georgia: ICRC Activities in Abkhazia, 20 September 1993.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1994 in the context of the conflict in Yemen, the ICRC stated: “Attacks against civilians and civilian property are prohibited.” 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1773, Fighting in Yemen, 9 May 1994; see also Press Release No. 1775, Yemen: ICRC active on both sides appeals to belligerents, 12 May 1994.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated: “Attacks on civilians or civilian objects are prohibited.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § II, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 503.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated: “It is prohibited to direct attacks against civilian persons or objects.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, 23 June 1994, § II, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1308.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 2000, the ICRC reminded both the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of their obligation to comply with IHL, which provided for the protection of the civilian population against the effects of the hostilities. The ICRC called on both parties to ensure that the civilian population and civilian property were protected and respected at all times. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/13, Sri Lanka: ICRC urges both parties to respect civilians, 11 May 2000.
Bothe, Partsch and Solf
In their commentary on the 1977 Additional Protocols, Bothe, Partsch and Solf state:
The concept of general protection [in Article 13(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II], however, is broad enough to cover protections which flow as necessary inferences from other provisions of Protocol II. Thus, while there is no explicit provision affording general protection for civilian objects other than the special objects covered by Arts. 14 to 16, the protection against direct attack of para. 2 also precludes attacks against civilian objects used as dwellings or otherwise occupied by civilians not then supporting the military effort. The definition of civilian objects in Art. 52(2) of Protocol I provides the basis for construing the extent of such protection of civilian objects. 
Michael Bothe, Karl Joseph Partsch, Waldemar A. Solf (eds.), New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1982, p. 677.
Amnesty International
In 2001, in a report on Israel and the occupied territories, Amnesty International stated:
It is a basic rule of customary international law that civilians and civilian objects must never be made the targets of an attack. This rule applies in all circumstances including in the midst of full-scale armed conflict. Due to its customary nature it is binding on all parties. Israel is prohibited from attacking civilians and civilian objects. Palestinians are also prohibited from targeting Israeli civilians, including settlers who are not bearing arms, and civilian objects. 
Amnesty International, Israel and the Occupied Territories: State Assassinations and Other Unlawful Killings, AI Index MDE 15/005/2001, London, 21 February 2001, p. 2; see also p. 29.