Practice Relating to Rule 29. Medical Transports
Section A. Respect for and protection of medical transports
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “Transport over land of the wounded and sick and medical material enjoys the same protection as medical units and material: it may not be made the object of attack.”
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states:
The protection accorded to the wounded would be illusory if the civilian and military medical services which are specifically set up to treat them could be attacked. Hence, medical services, identified by the Red Cross (or Red Crescent in certain countries), are not considered combatants or military objectives even if they wear the enemy uniform or bear its insignia. Enemy medical transports … may not be attacked.
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 … :
intentionally directing attacks against … medical … transports.