Director of Prime Minister’s Office announces he will step down soon
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Director of Prime Minister’s Office announces he will step down soon

Move by Netanyahu confidant Yoav Horowitz considered a surprise despite him announcing it previously, as it comes at the beginning of a new election campaign

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Prime Minister's Office Director-General Yoav Horowitz, right, arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, December 16, 2018. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Prime Minister's Office Director-General Yoav Horowitz, right, arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, December 16, 2018. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Yoav Horowitz has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he would like to leave his post soon, the PMO said Tuesday in a statement.

Horowitz, 59, a longtime close confidant of Netanyahu since the two served together in the Israel Defense Forces elite unit Sayaret Matkal, has been the prime minister’s chief of staff since 2016 and the PMO director-general since May 2018, when his predecessor Eli Groner resigned.

He already stepped down as Netanyahu’s chief of staff in April, the PMO said.

Horowitz had said before the April elections that he would be stepping down also as PMO director-general after the establishment of a new government, or by June at the latest. Nevertheless, it was a surprise decision seeing that Netanyahu failed to form a government and is at the outset of another challenging election campaign.

Netanyahu has named Deputy Cabinet Secretary Ronen Peretz the acting PMO director-general until a full-time replacement is found, and he will work in tandem with National Economic Council head Prof. Avi Simhon, the statement said.

“I am sure that Ronen, who has been in the office for six years, will know how to manage the office in a professional and appropriate way,” Netanyahu said.

The statement added that Netanyahu thanked Horowitz for three years of “dedicated and professional work” and added he was “sure he will continue to be successful in the future.”

Horowitz thanked Netanyahu “for the opportunity and trust I got from him and the privilege of working alongside him, serving the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel,” the statement said.

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