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| Security
January 15 2014

Israeli Bill Would Wipe Clean Criminal Record of Combat Soldiers

"Combat soldiers with a criminal past will be given a ""second chance,"" according to a bill approved by the Knesset plenum. The bill, initiated by MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Likud Beytenu), who is the chairwoman of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, would allow at-risk youth who underwent rehabilitation during their military service and were recruited into combat positions to have their criminal record wiped clean. Levy-Abecassis explained that when these soldiers complete their military service and go into the workforce, they encounter difficulties in terms of finding jobs. Their past ""stain,"" she said, prevents them from working as security personnel or in any other position that would require carrying a gun, jobs that many combat soldiers seek after the army. The chairwoman said the proposed law will ""end the paradox and injustice toward people who served as fighters and carried weapons and who after their service cannot work with one, even though they are called up for reserve duty and use arms at that same time."" The idea for the draft law came after Levy-Abecassis received an appeal from a combat soldier and former at risk teenager who had been denied a permit to carry a civilian weapon due to his criminal record."