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

Note: For practice concerning attacks on open towns and non-defended localities, see Rule 37, Section C. For practice concerning attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, see Rule 38.
Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
The 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict condemns “the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks on objects protected under international law, including places generally having a significant presence of children, such as schools and hospitals”. 
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 54/263, 25 May 2000, Annex I, Preamble.
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 6 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules states: “It is also forbidden to attack dwellings, installations … which are for the exclusive use of, and occupied by, the civilian population.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 6.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) prohibits the bombardment of residential areas. 
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, pp. 111 and 150.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Civilian Victims of Armed Conflict
During all military operations, whether in offence or in defence, certain conduct remains prohibited under the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.
Examples:
- conducting bombardments of residential areas. 
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 and p. 258, § 613.
Under the same heading, the manual also states that “residential areas must be protected”. 
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.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) states: “Under the laws of war, you are not allowed to attack villages, towns, or cities. However, when your mission requires, you are allowed to engage enemy troops, equipment, or supplies in a village, town or city.” 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 3.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “The wanton or deliberate destruction of areas of concentrated civilian habitation, including cities, towns, and villages, is prohibited.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.5.1.1.
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “places resided by civilians” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, § 8.4.1.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Directive on Human Rights in Irian Jaya and Maluku (1995) provides: “Towns, villages and residences, even if used for food-stuff and equipment stockpile, should not be attacked.” 
Indonesia, Directive concerning Human Rights, issued by the Commander of the Regional Military Command of Irian Jaya and Maluku, 1995, § 9(b).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “The bombardment of towns, villages, houses and buildings which are not in the immediate proximity of the operations of the land forces is prohibited.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 63(e), p. 323.
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) state:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
g. … civilian population centers … 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).
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) states that “attacks of cities [and] villages” are prohibited. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 34.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The term “civilian objects” would normally include cities, towns and villages as such but not military objectives within those places. It also includes … buildings and facilities used by civilians (so long as they do not fall within the definition of military objectives) such as housing estates and houses; apartment blocks and flats; factories and workshops producing goods of no military significance; offices, shops, markets and warehouses; farms and stables; schools, museums, places of worship and other similar buildings. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24.2.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) gives the following instruction:
Do not fire into civilian populated areas or buildings which are not defended or being used for military purposes. [S]chools … will not be engaged except in self-defense. 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, §§ B, C and G.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “The wanton or deliberate destruction of areas of concentrated civilian habitation, including cities, towns, and villages, is prohibited.” 
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), § 8.5.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include: “Wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages or devastation not justified by the requirements of military operations.” 
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, § 6.2.6(6).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Basic Information for the Pre-Deployment of Personnel Involved in UN Stabilization Missions (2014), in a section entitled “The protection of childhood”, states:
In situations of armed conflict, children are exposed to serious violations of their rights, which demand the attention of all responsible parties in those locations, especially those who, like the contingents in the mission zones, work under the flag of the United Nations.
The issue is so important that a dedicated office has been set up, headed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
The office has identified six serious violations of the human rights of children during armed conflicts. Personnel are requested to be particularly alert to these violations and to report them through the established mechanisms. …
The six serious violations are:
5. Attacks against schools and hospitals[.] 
Uruguay, Información Básica para el Pre-Despliegue de Personal Subalterno a la Misiones de Estabilizacion de las Naciones Unidas, 4th edition, General Directorate of Defence Policies, Ministry of National Defence, 2014, pp. 53–54.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “directing attacks against … living places” constitutes a war crime in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(7).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack on … a [civilian] settlement”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 154(1).
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 433(1).
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack against … [civilian] settlements”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).
Croatia
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that a war crime is committed by whoever “violates the rules of international law in times of war, armed conflict or occupation and orders [or commits] an attack against … civilian … settlements”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, as amended in June 2006, 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).
Peru
Peru’s Regulations to the Law on Internal Displacement (2005) states:
Internally displaced persons who return to their place of habitual residence or who have resettled in another part of the country have a right to:
h) Be protected against all forms of combat that may put internally displaced persons at risk, including armed attacks on [their] camps and other settlements. 
Peru, Regulations to the Law on Internal Displacement, 2005, Article 6(h).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack … on built-up areas”. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 374(1).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Military Penal Code (1943), as amended, punishes anyone who carries out “an unjustified attack against … schools”. 
Uruguay, Military Penal Code, 1943, as amended, Article 58(12).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack on … a [civilian] settlement”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, as amended in 2001, Article 142(1).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2010, in the Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia convicted a leader of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) of several war crimes, including of attacking buildings dedicated to education. The Court stated:
90 … [T]he defendant … is accused of [committing a] war crime by [carrying out] attacks against buildings that do not constitute military objectives, which is a punishable act according to article 8(2)(e)(iv) [of the 1998 ICC Statute] …
91 … [T]he war crime addressed by this article is defined as the act of attacking and destroying buildings of common and/or public use, unless such attacks and destructions are imperatively demanded by military necessities.
92. In view of the [2000 ICC] Elements of Crimes, [this] war crime requires, in addition to a link between the crime and the existence of an armed conflict not of an international character, and the awareness by the perpetrator of the factual circumstances that established the existence of this conflict, that the following five elements be present:
i) an action by the perpetrator consisting of launching or directing an attack;
ii) the object of the attack must be one or more buildings which do not constitute military objectives;
iii) the perpetrator must intend these buildings to be the object of his attack knowing that they are not military objectives;
iv) the conduct of the perpetrator must take place in the context of an armed conflict not of an international character;
v) the perpetrator must be aware of the factual circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict.
Attack shall be understood here in the sense of article 49(1) of the [1977] Additional Protocol I … , which defines attacks as “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence”.
93 … [I]n the present case, during the attacks launched against Nyankunde and Groupement Musedzo respectively on 5 and 12 September by FRPI Ngiti militiamen, the destructive attacks were deliberately directed against buildings which did not constitute military objectives, in particular buildings dedicated to … education.
96 … [T]hose buildings were damaged or destroyed because they were targeted by the Ngiti combatants …
97 … [S]uch attacks were launched against buildings in both places during a period where there was an armed conflict not of an international character in the territory of Irumu, in Ituri, situated in the Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
98 … [T]he FRPI leaders who planned and ordered the above-mentioned attacks, as well as all Ngiti militiamen and combatants of the political-military movement who materially committed the attacks, were aware of the existence of an armed conflict of this nature in Ituri and had the intention to direct such attacks against those buildings knowing that they did not constitute military objectives. This proves the existence of the intentional or mental element which constitutes the direct and special dolus according to article 30 of the [1998 ICC] … Statute.
99 … [T]herefore, this Court finds that there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that these attacks which constitute war crimes were intentionally launched against buildings which were not military objectives in Nyankunde and Groupement Musedzo by the FRPI Ngiti combatants with the support, authorization, blessing and/or lack of control by the leaders of this political-military movement called FRPI, including the defendant. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia, Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, Judgment, 9 July 2010, §§ 90–93 and 96–99.
Regarding the applicable law, the Court stated:
[T]he constitutional provisions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, namely articles 153(4) and 215 of 18 February 2006 [Constitution], authorize both civil and military courts and tribunals to apply duly ratified international agreements and treaties, and give them higher authority than domestic legislation. This constitutional authorization combined with the self-executing nature of the … [1998 ICC] Statute justify the direct application of this treaty by Congolese courts and tribunals. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia, Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, Judgment, 9 July 2010, § 63.
Afghanistan
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council, in a brief report on alleged violations of IHL by the Taliban, Afghanistan stated that, during the 1994 failed coup, more than 3,000 rockets had rained down on the innocent civilian population of Kabul and on residential areas of the town. 
Afghanistan, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3648, 9 April 1996, p. 3.
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “Gen. Allen: We will not bombard civilian[…] areas and houses”, which stated:
President Hamid Karzai … summoned top NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan to the presidential palace for an extraordinary security meeting for explanation on military operations in the provinces that led to civilian casualties.
President Karzai underlined that Afghanistan signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States with the aim to prevent such incidents from happening again and to safeguard people’s lives. …
In response, Gen. Allen said he personally takes personal responsibility for the incidents and agreed on the president’s suggestions that they will not bombard[…] the civilian areas … anymore.
President Karzai reminded Gen. Allen and Ambassador Crocker that civilian casualties and bombing villages were neither acceptable in the past nor is that acceptable today. 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “Gen. Allen: We will not bombard civilian[…] areas and houses”, Press Release, 9 June 2012.
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop pursuing objectives of outsiders, but rather begin a life of dignity and honor under Afghanistan[’s] Constitution”, which stated: “In his Eid remarks, the President urged the Taliban and other armed opposition to renounce violence and killings in Afghanistan and to stop destroying … schools.” 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop pursuing objectives of outsiders, but rather begin a life of dignity and honor under Afghanistan[’s] Constitution”, Press Release, 26 October 2012.
Azerbaijan
In 1992, in letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and President of the UN Security Council respectively, Azerbaijan referred to data provided to the UN Fact-Finding Mission in the region concerning illegal actions by Armenia, including the destruction of and damage caused to residential buildings. 
Azerbaijan, Identical letters dated 11 June 1992 addressed respectively to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24103, 16 June 1992, p. 1.
Botswana
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Botswana commented on the numerous violations of the fundamental human rights of the Afghan civilian population documented by international human rights organizations, listing among such violations the bombing of residential areas. 
Botswana, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3648, 9 April 1996, p. 15.
Canada
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
The Friends Group is pleased with the work undertaken by the Security Council, in the last few years, in progressively strengthening the protection framework for children affected by armed conflict. …
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998(2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, 12 July 2011.
On behalf of Canada, the deputy permanent representative stated:
We strongly believe that the adoption today of a new resolution on children and armed conflict will increase the profile [of] the grave violation of attacks against schools and hospitals just as the adoption of Resolution 1882 raised the profile of rape and sexual violence against children and Resolution 1612 on the recruitment and use of children in hostilities. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, 12 July 2011.
Canada
In 2012, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, the permanent representative of Canada stated: “This year’s Secretary General’s report continues to document grave violations and abuses being committed against girls and boys – including … attacks against schools and hospitals. These despicable actions must be stopped.” 
Canada, Statement by the permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, 19 September 2012, p. 2.
Canada
In 2013, in a statement during a UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated: “The conflict in Syria continues to take a terrible toll on the civilian population. … Health care and educational facilities continue to be targeted …”. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 12 February 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, which stated: “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement: ‘Canada strongly condemns the ongoing air strikes inflicted by the Syrian regime on Aleppo and surrounding areas that are killing hundreds of innocent civilians’, many of whom are women and children. …’”. 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, Press Release, 24 December 2013.
China
In 1972, in a statement before the UNESCO General Conference, China criticized the United States for having “wantonly bombarded Vietnamese cities and villages”. 
China, Statement before the General Conference of UNESCO, 25 October 1972, Selected Documents of the Chinese Delegation to the United Nations, The People’s Press, Beijing, 1972, p. 239.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the Palestinian question, the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba stated:
Over the past year the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continued to deteriorate. Israel continues to violate international law, human rights and international humanitarian law.
As a result of Israel’s operation “Cast Lead” at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, it is estimated that 280 of the 641 schools in Gaza suffered damage and 18 were destroyed. More than half of the inhabitants of Gaza are under the age of 18 and the interruption to their education as a result of the damage caused during the Operation and as a result of the Israeli blockade is having a devastating effect. 
Cuba, Statement by the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 37: The Palestinian Question, 29 November 2010, p. 1.
[emphasis in original]
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: “It is prohibited to attack … schools”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
France
In 2009, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France stated:
[O]ne of the essential principles of international humanitarian law is that a distinction must be made at all times and in all circumstances between … military targets and civilian targets, the latter to be protected. There are few conflicts in which that principle is fully respected.
During the Israeli offensive in Gaza, there were several strikes in areas apparently devoid of any identifiable military target, and in particular that of Dec. 27, which hit the Gaza Training College, and the series of bombardments on Jan. 6 aimed at schools run by UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees). 
France, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, “The Savaging of Humanitarian Law”, New York Times, 28 January 2009, pp. 1–2.
Georgia
In 2012, in its fourth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Georgia stated:
During the reporting period, the Government of Georgia has been consistently continuing its policy aimed at ensuring full enjoyment of the rights provided in the Covenant for the entire State population. To this end, the obstacles of outstanding gravity were imposed by the war with the Russian Federation in August 2008 and subsequent occupation of two regions – Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia. From … early 2008, the security and human rights situation in the mentioned regions tangibly aggravated … The terrorizing and discriminatory acts included, but were not limited to the occasional incidents of armed attacks on the ethnic Georgian villages … [and] their heavy shelling in the immediate lead-up to the war. 
Georgia, Fourth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 1 November 2012, UN Doc. CCPR/GEO/4, submitted 25 June 2012, § 3.
Germany
In 1993, the German Chancellor strongly criticized the “brutal siege and the shelling of the Muslim town of Srebrenica”. 
Germany, Statement by the Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, 19 April 1993, Bulletin, No. 31, Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, Bonn, 21 April 1993, p. 270.
Iraq
In 1983, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs declared the readiness of Iraq “to sign a special peace treaty between Iraq and Iran, under United Nations supervision, wherein the two parties undertake not to attack towns and villages on the two sides, in spite of the continuation of the war”. 
Iraq, Statement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tarek Aziz, 25 May 1983, annexed to Letter dated 27 May 1983 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/15804, 27 May 1983.
Iraq
In reply to a message from the UN Secretary-General of 9 June 1984, the President of Iraq stated:
I wish to remind you, first of all, that since the armed conflict began the Iranian side has continually resorted to the bombing of our frontier towns and villages and other civilian targets and for a long time persisted in denying it even after the facts had been verified by the United Nations mission … I would also like to remind you that, in June 1983, on behalf of Iraq I took the initiative of proposing the conclusion under international auspices of an agreement between Iran and Iraq under which the two parties would refrain from bombing civilian targets … I therefore have the pleasure to inform you that the Iraqi Government accepts your proposal on condition that Iran is committed thereby, and that you make effective arrangements as soon as possible to supervise the implementation by the two parties of their commitments. 
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
In reply to a message of 9 June 1984 from the UN Secretary-General, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
In the course of more than three and a half years since the beginning of this war, Iraq has repeatedly attacked our residential areas in contravention of all international and humanitarian principles … The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, in order to show its good faith, responds positively to your proposal on ending attacks on residential areas … I deem it necessary to underline that the good will shown by the Islamic Republic of Iran in response to your proposal to stop attacks on civilian areas is conditional on the total ending of the Iraqi régime’s criminal acts of bombarding Iranian cities. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16609, 10 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1991, in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General during the Gulf War, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
In accordance with the same principles governing its foreign policy and consistent with the very strong and clear position adopted against bombardment of civilian areas in Iraq by allied forces, the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot remain but alarmed at numerous reports of horrifying attacks by government forces against innocent civilians. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 22 March 1991 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/22379, 23 March 1991; see also Letter dated 12 March 1992 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/23703, 12 March 1992.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, the Iranian authorities accused Iraq on many occasions of having carried out attacks on civilian objects such as schools, houses, hospitals and refugee camps. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The IDF’s operational plans and rules of engagement order special precautions with regard to military activity in proximity to … educational institutions”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 259.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan states that Islam prohibits attacks against civilians and mentions an order given by Caliph Abu Bakr (632–634 AD) proscribing the destruction of any dwelling. The report adds that, considering the time at which it was issued, this order should be highly esteemed. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 1.4.
Liberia
In 1971, during a debate in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly concerning respect for human rights in armed conflicts, Liberia stated that it “agreed wholeheartedly with the principle that … dwellings … should not be the object of military operations as affirmed in [principle 5] of General Assembly resolution 2675 (XXV)”. 
Liberia, Statement before the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.3/SR.1890, 1 December 1971, § 8.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated: “We condemn all acts that jeopardize the integrity of children, such as attacks against schools”. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6114th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6114, 29 April 2009, p. 29.
Republic of Korea
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the Republic of Korea called upon both parties to the conflict to cease targeting areas populated by civilians. 
Republic of Korea, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 11.
Russian Federation
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated:
[W]e are deeply concerned about the escalation of the crisis in Gaza as a result of Israel’s military operation … [and] the destruction of infrastructure, including United Nations schools … from Israeli fire. Those actions are absolutely inappropriate and are flagrant violations of international law.  
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 6066th meeting, 14 January 2009.
Rwanda
In 1993, in a declaration concerning a report on violations of human rights in Rwanda, the Rwandan Government asked the Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR) to cease all attacks against civilian targets such as camps for displaced persons, hospitals and schools. 
Association rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques Rapport sur les droits de l’homme au Rwanda, octobre 1992–octobre 1993, Kigali, December 1993, p. 73.
Rwanda
On the basis of replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda states that an attack against civilians can be defined as an attack against purely civilian targets such as a town or a village exclusively inhabited by civilians. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by Rwandan army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 1.4.
Rwanda
In 2010, in its Comments on the Draft UN Mapping Report on the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rwanda stated:
The Draft Mapping Report alleges, in paragraphs 200 and 202 respectively, that “On 20 October 1996, units of the AFDL [Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo]/APR [Rwandan Patriotic Army] from Bwegera and the Rwandan town of Bugarama attacked the Kamanyola refugee camp in the Walungu territory, killing an unknown number of refugees …” and “… On 2 November 1996, AFDL/APR units attacked the Kashusha/INERA camp in the Kabare territory with heavy weapons, killing hundreds of refugees…”. In line with the RPA’s [Rwandan Patriotic Army’s] concept of operation, the refugee camps were never attacked as such. The setup of the refugee camps in South Kivu was such that the Ex-FAR [Rwanda Armed Forces, the national armed forces of Rwanda before July 1994]/Interahamwe provided a perimeter defense with trenches. There were also inner defensive positions inside the camps. Whenever an RPA advance was detected, the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe forward defenses would attack the advancing RPA force to avoid being encircled. In the process, the refugee population would flee. This is precisely what happened in Kamanyola, Kashusha, Inela, ADI-Kivu and other camps. The casualties reported in those particular camps were a result of fierce fighting between the RPA and the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe. 
Rwanda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Official Government of Rwanda Comments on the Draft UN Mapping Report on the DRC, 30 November 2010, § 28.
Saudi Arabia
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia stated: “The cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been bombarded by 26 missiles, which have landed in purely civilian localities of no military value.” 
Saudi Arabia, Report dated 30 January 1991 on the progress of operations for the liberation of Kuwait, annexed to Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22180, 31 January 1991, p. 2.
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.
South Africa
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made partly on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including South Africa, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
The Friends Group is pleased with the work undertaken by the [UN] Security Council, in the last few years, in progressively strengthening the protection framework for children affected by armed conflict. …
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the [UN] Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the [UN] Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the [UN] Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998(2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
South Africa, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made partly on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including South Africa, 12 July 2011.
South Africa
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the members of the Human Security Network and on behalf of South Africa as an observer, the deputy permanent representative of Chile stated:
Despite the unrelenting efforts of the international community, civilians continue to account for the majority of casualties in armed conflicts. Their situation becomes even more precarious when they are deliberately targeted, indiscriminately attacked or when they are viewed as of strategic value in a conflict. …
… Moreover, the effective protection of civilians requires that health-care facilities, schools, teaching staff, transport, humanitarian personnel and people seeking medical treatment are unconditionally spared from attacks and acts of displacement. 
South Africa, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Chile before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the members of the Human Security Network and on behalf of South Africa as an observer, 19 August 2013, pp. 4–5.
Sri Lanka
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
83. In accordance with resolution 1612 and Section VI, paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group of the [UN] Security Council on children and armed conflict, the TFMR [Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting] will focus on violations against children affected by armed conflict …
84. … [V]iolations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict including … attacks against schools … will … be addressed. 
Sri Lanka, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 February 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/LKA/1, submitted 16 June 2008, §§ 83–84.
Switzerland
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
The current situation in Gaza cries out to us the importance of the issue we are discussing today. …
Furthermore, last week, Switzerland called for an independent inquiry into the allegations of violations of international law committed during these hostilities, including the attacks on two schools run by UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency]. In this context, it is essential that light be cast on all allegations of violations committed by all parties. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 14 January 2009, pp. 5–6.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
International humanitarian law also clearly prohibits attacks against the civilian population. This also applies to abductions, suicide attacks against markets, mosques or schools, as well as torture and other acts of terrorism. Only attacks against military objectives come within the framework of international humanitarian law, even if these take the form of suicide attacks. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.4, p. 12.
[footnote in original omitted]
Switzerland
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including Switzerland, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the [UN] Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998 (2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel.  
Switzerland, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, 12 July 2011.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1986, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning the Iran–Iraq War, the United Kingdom voiced strong criticism of the recurrent bombing of civilian centres, qualifying it as a violation of international law under the Geneva Conventions. 
United Kingdom, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.2666, 24 February 1986, pp. 21–22.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2007, in a written answer to several questions in the House of Commons concerning the situation in Darfur, Sudan, the UK Minister of State for Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote: “The Sudanese Government resumed bombing villages in Darfur last week, resulting in a number of civilian injuries and deaths. We condemn these attacks, which show little regard for human life.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 2 May 2007, Vol. 459, Written Answers, col. 1718W.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States denounced Iraq’s firing of surface-to-surface missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel and stated: “Particularly in regard to Israel, Iraq has targeted these missiles against civilian areas in an obvious sign of Iraqi disregard for civilian casualties.” 
United States, Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22173, 30 January 1991, p. 2; see also Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991, pp. 1–2; and Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 2.
Uruguay
In 2008, Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Jerusalem attack”, which stated:
The people and Government of Uruguay wish to express their strongest condemnation of the attack perpetrated yesterday [6 March 2008] in Jerusalem against a Jewish religious school in the Kiryat Moshé neighbourhood, which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.
Uruguay observes with extreme concern the escalation of violence in the region, and stresses the urgent need for both parties to respect the rules of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular those concerning the protection of the civilian population in all circumstances and in every territory where it is present. 
Uruguay, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Jerusalem attack”, Press Release, No. 21/08, 7 March 2008.
Uruguay
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made partly on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including Uruguay, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the [UN] Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998 (2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
Uruguay, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made partly on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including Uruguay, 12 July 2011.
Uruguay
In 2014, Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Uruguay condemns the attacks against schools and civilian targets in Gaza”, which stated:
The Government of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay deplores the continuation of the military operations in the Gaza Strip and expresses its greatest consternation at the despicable attack carried out by the Israeli armed forces against a UN school, which resulted in the killing of dozens of defenceless civilians sheltered in that place under the protection of the United Nations.
These dramatic events and their dire consequences for both societies … are clear violations of international law and international humanitarian law.
It’s unacceptable under any pretext for the civilian population to be attacked as a military objective, and … under international law, the death of women and children could be considered as a war crime that could fall under international jurisdiction.
These acts should stimulate reflections by the parties to the conflict to stop this escalation of violence and accept as a matter of urgency an unconditional and definitive ceasefire to the hostilities and proceed to an immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip. 
Uruguay, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Uruguay condemns the attacks against schools and civilian targets in Gaza”, Press Release, No. 36/14, 31 July 2014.
Viet Nam
In 2015, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the permanent representative of Viet Nam stated:
ASEAN … remains deeply concerned about the fact that growing number[s] of children continue to be affected by grave violations in armed conflicts … We particularly condemn the increasing cases of abduction of children and attacks targeting schools and hospitals. 
Viet Nam, Statement by the permanent representative of Viet Nam before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, 25 March 2015, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1983 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council condemned “all violations of international humanitarian law, in particular, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in all their aspects, and calls for the immediate cessation of all military operations against civilian targets, including city and residential areas”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 540, 31 October 1983, § 2, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1986 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council deplored “the bombing of purely civilian population centres”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 582, 24 February 1986, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
This statement was repeated in a subsequent resolution adopted in 1987. 
UN Security Council, Res. 598, 20 July 1987, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Lebanon adopted in 1996, the UN Security Council condemned attacks on civilian targets, including residential areas. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1052, 18 April 1996, preamble, § 5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Georgia adopted in 1998, the UN Security Council condemned the deliberate destruction of houses by Abkhaz forces. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1187, 30 July 1998, § 4, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on children in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks on objects protected under international law, including places that usually have a significant presence of children such as schools and hospitals” and called on all parties concerned “to put an end to such practices”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1261, 25 August 1999, § 2; see also § 18, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1986, in a statement by its President in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council declared:
The members of the Security Council continue to deplore the violation of international humanitarian law and other laws of armed conflict. They express their deepening concern over the widening of the conflict through the escalation of attacks on purely civilian targets, on merchant shipping and oil installations of the littoral States. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2730, 22 December 1986, p. 3.
UN Security Council
In 1988, in a statement by its President in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council declared:
The members of the Security Council … strongly deplore the escalation of the hostilities between [Iran and Iraq], particularly against civilian targets and cities that have taken a heavy toll in human lives and caused vast material destruction, in spite of the declared readiness of the belligerent parties to cease such attacks. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2798, 16 March 1988, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “the targeting of children in armed conflicts” and expressed its readiness “to consider appropriate responses whenever buildings or sites that usually have a significant presence of children such as, inter alia, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, are specifically targeted”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/18, 29 June 1998, pp. 1–2.
UN General Assembly
In Resolution 2675 (XXV) adopted in 1970, the UN General Assembly stated:
Dwellings and other installations that are used only by civilian populations should not be the object of military operations. Places or areas designated for the sole protection of civilians, such as hospital zones or similar refuges, should not be the object of military operations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2675 (XXV), 9 December 1970, §§ 5 and 6, voting record: 109-0-8-10.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN General Assembly condemned “the shelling of residential areas”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, § 6, voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1990 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1990/54, 6 March 1990, § 1, voting record: 41-1-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1991 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1991/66, 6 March 1991, § 1, voting record: 41-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1992/70, 4 March 1992, § 1, voting record: 49-1-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of civilian villages and areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1993/67, 10 March 1993, § 1, voting record: 50-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/83, 9 March 1994, § 1, voting record: 48-1-3.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the deliberate, murderous shelling” of cities and other civilian areas. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 7; see also § 32, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the human rights situation in Iraq, the UN Commission on Human Rights reiterated its deep concern about the destruction of Iraqi towns and villages. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/74, 9 March 1994, preamble, voting record: 34-1-18.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In 1995, following consultations, the Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights issued a statement indicating the consensus of the Commission concerning the situation of human rights in Chechnya, in which the Commission especially deplored “the serious destruction of installations and infrastructure used by civilians”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Statement by the Chairman, 27 February 1995, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1995/176–E/1995/23, 7 July 1995, § 594.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, the UN Commission on Human Rights deplored “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/67, 7 March 1995, § 1, voting record: 48-1-4.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a statement by its Chairman in 1996 concerning the situation in Chechnya, the UN Commission on Human Rights stated:
Severe destruction of Chechen towns and villages with consequent displacement of a large proportion of the civilian population is a conspicuous feature of military actions in the Republic this year as in 1995. In this context, the Commission calls for an immediate and permanent cessation of the bombardment of civilian towns and villages that is still continuing. The Commission strongly deplores this and the serious destruction of installations and infrastructure used by civilians. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Statement by the Chairman, 24 April 1996, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/177–E/1996/23, 7 July 1996, § 371.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa, the UN Commission on Human Rights deplored “the bombardment of peaceful villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/62, 21 April 1998, § 1, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine, the UN Commission on Human Rights stated it was:
Gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and at the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular … the shelling of Palestinian residential neighbourhoods by warplanes, tanks and Israeli battleships. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/10, 15 April 2004, preamble, voting record: 31-7-15.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged “all parties to armed conflict to end … violations against children, including … attacks against schools”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, § 36, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the “violence against civilians and … destruction of villages” and urged “all parties to take necessary steps to prevent further violations”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/82, 21 April 2005, § 2(b), adopted without a vote.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Darfur, the UN Human Rights Council:
Expresses its deep concern regarding the seriousness of the ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, including armed attacks on the civilian population and humanitarian workers, widespread destruction of villages, and continued and widespread violence, in particular gender-based violence against women and girls, as well as the lack of accountability of perpetrators of such crimes. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. 4/8, 30 March 2007, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1988 on the situation in the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied by Israel, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights:
Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Palestinians and to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, and that Israel’s violation of the provisions of these Conventions, by … attacking and destroying properties and homes, are war crimes under international law.  
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1988/10, 31 August 1988, § 3.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1989 on the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights:
Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Palestinians and to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, and that Israel’s violation of the provisions of these Conventions, by … attacking and destroying properties and homes, are crimes of war under international law. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1989/4, 31 August 1989, § 3.
UN Secretary-General
On 9 June 1984, in a message addressed to the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, the UN Secretary-General stated:
Deliberate military attacks on civilian areas cannot be condoned by the international community … Therefore, I call upon the Governments of the Republic of Iraq and of the Islamic Republic of Iran to declare to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that each undertakes a solemn commitment to end, and in the future refrain from initiating, deliberate military attacks, by aerial bombardment, missiles, shelling or other means, on purely civilian population centres. 
UN Secretary-General, Message dated 9 June 1984 to the Presidents of Iran and Iraq, UN Doc. S/16611, 11 June 1984.
UN Secretary-General
In a statement to the UN Security Council in 1992, the UN Secretary-General reported that “heavy artillery has been used against the civilian population” during the bombardment of the area of Dobrinja, a suburb of Sarajevo close to the airport, adding that these attacks were occurring “despite an agreement … by the Serb side to stop shelling civilian areas”. 
UN Secretary-General, Statement to the UN Security Council, 26 June 1992, UN Doc. S/24201, 29 June 1992, p. 1.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on UNIFIL in Lebanon, the UN Secretary-General referred to an agreement adopted in the summer of 1993. Although the document was not transmitted to the UN, the Secretary-General stated that, based on public statements by Israeli and Hezbollah officials, “it would appear that the Islamic Resistance agreed to refrain from targeting villages and towns in northern Israel, while IDF [Israel Defense Forces] agreed to refrain from doing the same in Lebanon; there has been no mention of limitations concerning attacks on military targets”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/1996/575, 20 July 1996, § 5.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on the situation in Sierra Leone, the UN Secretary-General noted that the office of his Special Envoy continued to receive information about the “destruction of residential and commercial premises and property”. 
UN Secretary-General, Fifth report on the situation in Sierra Leone, UN Doc. S/1998/486, 9 June 1998, § 37.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on UNOMSIL in Sierra Leone, the UN Secretary-General mentioned that elements of the former junta continued to shell population centres such as Koidu and Daru. 
UN Secretary-General, First progress report on UNOMSIL, UN Doc. S/1998/750, 12 August 1998, § 33.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1993, in a report on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the parties to the conflict for the shelling of civilian objects, including residential areas, houses, apartments and schools. 
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, §§ 162–164.
European Community
In 1982, during a debate in the UN General Assembly, Denmark condemned, on behalf of the EC, the invasion of Lebanon by Israeli forces and in particular the bombardment of residential areas in Beirut. 
EC, Statement before the UN General Assembly by Denmark on behalf of the EC, UN Doc. A/ES-7/PV.26, 19 August 1982, p. 13.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly severely criticized the Yugoslav People’s Army for the repeated shelling of Dubrovnik and other Croatian cities. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 984, 30 June 1992, § 9.
Organization of the Islamic Conference
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the OIC Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed its strong condemnation of the deliberate destruction of cities. 
OIC, Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Res. 1/5-EX, 17–18 June 1992, § 89.
Minsk Conference of the CSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh
In 1993, in a report submitted to the President of the UN Security Council, the Chairman of the Minsk Conference of the CSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh suggested that an official Security Council denunciation should be made of all bombardments and shelling of inhabited areas and population centres in the area of conflict. 
CSCE, Minsk Conference on Nagorny Karabakh, Report by the Chairman to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/26184, 28 July 1993, Annex, § 16(b).
No data.
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 draft Additional Protocol I which stated in part: “Objects designed for civilian use, such as houses, dwellings, installations … 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 press release issued in 1984 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC stated:
In violation of the laws and customs of war, and in particular of the essential principle that military targets must be distinguished from civilian persons and objects, the Iraqi armed forces have continued to bomb Iranian civilian zones. The result was loss of human life on a large scale, and widespread destruction of strictly civilian objects. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1480, Conflict between Iran and Iraq and breaches of international humanitarian law: a renewed ICRC appeal, 15 February 1984, IRRC, No. 239, 1984, pp. 113–115.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1990 by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, provide: “The general rule prohibiting attacks against the civilian population implies, as a corollary, the prohibition of attacks on dwellings and other installations which are used only by the civilian population.” 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, Rule A6, IRRC, No. 278, 1990, p. 393.