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2nd Senior Aide to Israeli PM Quits

2nd Senior Aide to Israeli PM Quits

Monday, 23 May, 2022 - 09:00
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Reuters file photo

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's chief of staff resigned on Monday, less than two weeks after another senior aide did the same.

A statement from the prime minister's office gave no reason for the departure of Tal Gan Zvi after a decade at Bennett's side. Shimrit Meir, the premier's senior adviser, resigned on May 13 citing "considerable sacrifices in (her) personal life".

Israeli media have reported feuding among Bennett's inner circle.

Bennett cobbled together a cross-partisan coalition to end Benjamin Netanyahu's record 12-year run as prime minister in June. A walkout by a lawmaker from his own party has since cost Bennett his one-seat majority in parliament.

But a lawmaker from Israel's Arab minority said on Sunday she was returning to Bennett's coalition, restoring its tenuous hold over half of the seats in parliament after she briefly bolted in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the liberal Meretz party said in a statement that she reversed course in order to "make gains addressing the needs of the Arab community" and after several of its local leaders placed her "under immense pressure" to do so.

The White House said on April 24 that Biden would visit Israel "over the coming months" at Bennett's invitation. No date has been published, but an official briefed on the discussions said the visit could take place in late June or early July.

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