Israeli soldiers patrol near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers patrol near the border with the Gaza Strip.Reuters File

A report has claimed that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has recruited thousands of soldiers with criminal pasts that includes being convicted for violence, drug abuse and sexual offence.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the army even gives men and women convicted of drug charges, thefts and violent crimes an option to have their records expunged.

It also claimed that some of the recruits were implicated in sexual offences. The report published on Tuesday noted that in 2014 there were a total of 3.8 per cent male and 0.3 per cent female soldiers recruited by the Israeli army having criminal records.

The Israeli daily added that the number of those with criminal records is now on the rise. Haaretz also revealed that in one case a soldier at the Hatzerim airbase raped two female soldiers but still was pardoned and was never discharged.

What is more shocking is that the IDF now wants all its soldiers with criminal records to file an official request to have their criminal records expunged.

The soldier who asks for expunging his records is usually granted the request by the president after completing his tenure in the army, the report noted.

In April, a report had claimed that there had been a sharp increase in sex related crimes among the Israeli soldiers.

Press TV, citing Israeli military Bamahane Weekly, noted that sex crime allegations were on an all time high among the Israeli soldiers. The journal noted that 35 per cent of the cases were related to "infringement of privacy" involving the collection and sharing of "compromising photographs."