Second senior aide to Israeli PM quits in less than two weeks

·1 min read
Weekly cabinet meeting at the Israeli Prime Minister's office, in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's chief of staff resigned on Monday, less than two weeks after another senior aide bolted in a double blow to a leader who has yet to complete his first year in power and is due to host U.S. President Joe Biden soon.

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 as his political fortunes appear increasingly tenuous.

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.

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.

(Writing by Dan Williams, editing by Ed Osmond)