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    Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade take part in a military exercise in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on June 26, 2013

    Israeli Army Erases Criminal Records of Soldiers

    © AFP 2019 / JACK GUEZ
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    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) let thousands of servicemen with criminal records erase previous convictions upon request, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) In 2014, 3.8 percent of Israeli armed forces male recruits and 0.3 percent of female recruits had a criminal record, the Haaretz newspaper said citing army data.

    "Those soldiers give good service to the state and then go off on a difficult journey with a criminal record – and we can help them erase it. At that age, not all of them understand what it means to have a criminal record, they only figure it out later when looking for work," an officer in the IDF Military Advocate General said as quoted by the newspaper.

    The records can contain various crimes from theft to sexual offenses, according to the news outlet.

    Under Israeli law, a soldier may request to the president that his previous convictions be erased if he has less than six disciplinary violations and has never been absent without leave for over two weeks.

    None of the filed requests were declined over the past four years, the newspaper said.

    These requests have been at record lows over recent years, with only 59 filed between 2012 and 2014. However, the overall number of recruits with previous convictions is climbing, Haaretz said.


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