The primary aim of the law of armed conflict, here referred to as international humanitarian law (IHL), is to protect the victims of armed conflict and to regulate the conduct of hostilities based on a balance between military necessity and humanity. The undisputed cornerstone of IHL is the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants, which obliges belligerents to distinguish at all times between persons who may be lawfully attacked, and persons who must be spared and protected from the effects of the hostilities. In order to avoid any ambiguity,...
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