Photo Credit: Israel Blizovski / TPS
Israel Police building

Israel Police will close 340,000 criminal files in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, Police Commissioner Roni Alshiekh announced Tuesday.

In a media statement ahead of the move, Alsheikh said “One of the reforms (we are trying to implement) is to make a clear distinction between normative citizens and ‘real’ criminals, and to recognize that even normative people make mistakes… So the police are working to prevent (this) and to help normative civilians to avoid making mistakes, and even sometimes to help ‘real’ criminals get back on the straight-and-narrow, and to build normative, law-abiding lives.”

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The mass amnesty will include 339,000 files involving some 300,000 individuals, including Israeli citizens, foreigners and tourists. Thirty-four thousand files involve to minors.

Police stressed that the amnesty would not apply to files surrounding violent crimes, sex crimes or security offenses and would be limited to no more than two investigations per person. No amnesty will be offered to individuals facing outstanding investigations. Misdemeanor investigations will be closed for cases at least five years old; felony investigations will be eligible after seven years.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the move would be a “big step for citizens who have been investigated for crimes. It will remove the stain of their past. The Ministry for Public Security has supported this initiative, as it has for similar moves in the past, in keeping with our belief that citizens’ rights, even for those who have been investigated by police, are a top priority. There is no reason that a cloud of suspicion should hang over the head of a person never convicted of a crime.”

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