Peres pardons Gush Katif evacuees

Following recommendations by the justice minister, the attorney-general, the state prosecutor and the state defense attorney, and in response to 59 requests, President Shimon Peres decided Sunday to wipe the slates of Gush Katif evacuees charged with committing minor crimes during the disengagement process. Most of those concerned were minors at the time, and in recognition of the emotional stress which triggered their actions, Peres not wanting to blight their lives further, has authorized the removal of criminal charges from their personal records. Even the most minor of criminal offences could have precluded them from categories of employment in the future, and Peres did not want to deny them the opportunity to reach their potential because of some insignificant infraction carried out in the heat of anger and sorrow when they were underage. The decision was made after a full and close examination of all the details in each case.