Occupation regime’s use of solitary confinement in prisons has increased almost twofold over a two-year time span, says the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture.
Jens Modvig, a member of the Geneva-based committee, said on Tuesday that the panel had “received reports that the use of solitary confinement in Israeli jails has doubled between 2012 and 2014,” from 390 to 755.
The remarks come as the UN committee, composed of 10 independent experts, is investigating Israel over a raft of violations of prisoners’ human rights.
Israeli authorities are to appear before the panel as part of a review into Tel Aviv’s conduct as a signatory to the 1991 UN Convention Against Torture.
Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating inmates in closed cells, depriving them of any human contact.
Elsewhere in his comments, Modvig called on Israel to explain why the controversial practice has spread dramatically.
The expert also urged Tel Aviv to respond to reports that Palestinian prisoners were subject to “verbal sexual harassment” and “repeated strip searches.”
Modvig also blasted Israel for not legally enshrining any measures restricting the use of “handcuffs and restraints” during interrogation, while employing “immobilization and stress positions” on inmates being questioned.
The UN committee compiles its statistics largely from data provided by civil society groups and independent reports.
Tel Aviv is already under fire over its cruel treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
More than 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences.
Over 500 detainees are under the so-called administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months.