The director general of the Prime Minister's Office, Yoav Horowitz, informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that he wishes to resign.
Horowitz was only officially appointed to the position in April after serving as acting director general for about a year, a period during which he also continued to serve as Netanyahu's chief of staff.
In February, Haaretz reported that in a number of conversations Horowitz had expressed a desire to step down following the election, saying that he could no longer continue on the job. At the time, Knesset elections were scheduled for April 9 and he said he had decided to help the prime minister win reelection and would resign as the director general in June at the latest. The April election ended inconclusively, leading the Knesset to dissolve itself and schedule a revote in the fall, on September 17.
In the past, Horowitz has been quoted as expressing displeasure at certain things that happened in the premier's surroundings, but had recently been said to have proposed long-term plans at work that led to the impression that he intended to remain for the foreseeable future.
Associates of the prime minister expressed surprise at Tuesday's announcement.
In response to the announcement, the prime minister noted that Horowitz has been at the center of the office's work, adding that he has been of major assistance to the prime minister in work on the country's behalf. "I am certain that he will continue to excel down the road," Netanyahu said.
Deputy cabinet secretary Ronen Peretz will take over from Horowitz as acting director of the Prime Minister's Office.
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Horowitz's predecessor as director general, Eli Groner, announced his own departure in May of last year following three years on the job. Following his resignation, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu's wife, Sara, had attempted to physically attack Groner, who was forced to push her away before someone else intervened to separate the two.
The relationship between Groner and Sara Netanyahu had been poor for some time, and she sought on several occasions to have her husband fire him, sources in the office said. But Groner denied the reports, as did the Netanyahu family.