Practice Relating to Rule 23. Location of Military Objectives outside Densely Populated Areas
Defence shall be organized primarily outside populated areas … When a choice is possible between several defence positions for obtaining a similar military advantage, the position to be selected shall be that which would cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects, if attacked … Military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas, when their presence, even temporary, could endanger civilian persons and objects. Movements which have to pass through or close to populated areas shall be executed rapidly. Interruptions of movements (e.g. regular stops after given periods of time, occasional stops) shall, when the tactical situation permits, take place outside populated areas or at least in less densely populated areas. Even a temporary military presence can create a dangerous situation for the civilian areas and persons. Units located in or close to populated areas shall be so deployed as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas (e.g. at least physical separation; appropriate distance between militarily used houses and other buildings). For a longer presence in civilian areas, additional danger reducing measures shall be taken by the competent commander (e.g. clear and, where necessary, marked limit of unit’s location, restricted and regulated access to the location, relevant instructions to members of the unit and appropriate information to the civilian population.