Practice Relating to Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants
Section A. The use of incendiary weapons in general
In 1992, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Netherlands implied that universal adherence to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons would give it effect in internal conflicts.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
An incendiary weapon means any weapon or munition primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injuries to persons through the action of flame, heat or a combination of both. They include: flame throwers, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances. One such substance is napalm. It is also important to know which weapons are not incendiary weapons: these are mainly munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants and tracers. Anti-tank grenades, which have the capacity to pierce armour by developing a very high temperature, are not incendiary weapons. The incendiary effect here is not specifically intended to cause burn injuries to persons.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
It is prohibited to use weapons causing unnecessary suffering or excessive injury, or that are indiscriminate. This means that … firearms whose primary purpose is to cause burn injuries to persons are forbidden.