Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
Section C. Attacks against civilian objects in general
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.”
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Only military objectives may be attacked.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Civilian objects must not be targets of attack.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Civilian objects may not be combat targets.”
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.”
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.