Luis Moreno-OcampoCan you quote a credible source for that?
Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed
conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International
humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against
military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime
occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) (Article
8(2)(b)(i)) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian
injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of
proportionality) (Article 8(2)(b)(iv).
Article 8(2)(b)(iv) criminalizes:
Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life
or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the
natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall
military advantage anticipated;
Article 8(2)(b)(iv) draws on the principles in Article 51(5)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the
1949 Geneva Conventions, but restricts the criminal prohibition to cases that are “clearly” excessive.
The application of Article 8(2)(b)(iv) requires, inter alia, an assessment of:
(a) the anticipated civilian damage or injury;
(b) the anticipated military advantage; and
(c) whether (a) was “clearly excessive” in relation to (b).
Geneva Convention, Part IV, Article 47 - General protection of civilian objects.
“Article 47 -- General protection of civilian objects “
1. Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives, namely, to those objectives which are, by their nature, purpose or use, recognized to be of military interest and whose total or partial destruction, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a distinct and substantial military advantage.
2. Consequently, objects designed for civilian use, such as houses, dwellings, installations and means of transport, and all objects which are not military objectives, shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort."
And I will emphasize again, this is not a defense of the act that was committed.
But war is not black or white. And it is permissible to kill civilians under certain circumstances.