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The Knesset approved a law on Tuesday stipulating that criminal records will automatically be expunged after seven years, given that the case of the crime has been closed.

The new law further states that employers will be precluded from obtaining or demanding to see the criminal records of job applicants and that doing so will constitute a criminal offense with a maximum two-year imprisonment sentence and a fine of up to NIS 200 thousand.

MKs Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Effie Eitam (National Union) initiated the bill, which refers to misdemeanor charges in cases closed for lack of public interest or lack of evidence.

The police believes that there are about 280 thousand such cases, principally of crimes such as possession of marijuana or shoplifting.

Knesset Constitution Committee Chairman Menahem Ben-Sasson says the law would allow people who have committed criminal offenses in their youth to move on with their lives and not have their reputations ruined.

However, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter has opposed the bill from its inception and attempted to thwart it, claiming it "perforates the Israel Police."