Jerusalem: The US-based group Human Rights Watch says Hamas militants are violating the rules of war by prohibiting a captive Israeli soldier from having contact with his family and the Red Cross.
Human Rights Watch says the treatment of the 23-year-old soldier is "cruel and inhuman" and matches a UN definition of torture because he is denied any outside contact.
Hamas militants captured tank crewman Gilad Schalit inside Israel four years ago and have been holding him in Gaza since then. Negotiations over a deal that would see Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return for Schalit have stalled.
Friday`s statement notes Israeli violations of Palestinian rights but says violations by one side "do not justify violations by the other”.