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Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the National Economic Council, has decided to tender his resignation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is the first resignation of a senior figure in the Prime Minister's Office since Netanyahu assumed power.

At a one-on-one meeting last week Netanyahu tried to persuade him to stay on, and Trajtenberg said that he would consider it. He did agree to remain in the post for several months in order to help Netanyahu to develop his economic plans and to pass the state budgets for 2009 and 2010 through the Knesset.

Now Trajtenberg apparently has decided to resign effective immediately. He did not attend yesterday's cabinet meeting on the budget.

It is thought that he was displeased by the appointment of Netanyahu associate Uri Yogev as chairman of the new National Economics Council advisory committee. Sources at the treasury expressed regret over Trajtenberg's resignation. He was appointed in 2006 by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.