Spokesman for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Matan Sidi, agreed today (Monday) with the Prime Minister on the termination of his term.
Sidi, 26, has served since the formation of the government as head of the communications department at the Prime Minister's Office and as the prime minister's personal communications adviser. He later served as spokesman for the State Comptroller and Ombudsman, Matanyahu Engelman.
Over the past year, Sidi served as the Prime Minister's political spokesman, at the same time being entrusted with managing the communications system of the Prime Minister's Office and its branches, including the Mossad, National Security Staff, National Economic Council, National Cyber Defense System, State Archives and more.
Bennett thanked Sidi for their joint work and said: "For the past four and a half years, Matan has been at my side at all times, good and bad, running the media campaign thoroughly, professionally and with great talent. Despite his young age, he demonstrated great ability in all his endeavors along with exceptional capabilities in managing national interests and complex media crises."
''Matan is a valued, loyal and dedicated person, who has worked tirelessly around the clock. The fruits of his labor have been a valuable asset to me, and I am glad that after many years of hard work he has set out to develop his career in the private sector. I wish him great success along the way," added the Prime Minister.
"Four years ago I received the opportunity of a lifetime from the Prime Minister, and since then I have had the privilege of being by his side at all times - both the successes and challenges along the way. I have been privileged to serve him," said Sidi after the decision came to light.
''I learned from him about the love of the people and the country, about the importance of serving your State, and most importantly - about withstanding pressures and fighting for what you believe in so long as your heart is in the right place. Now, the time has come to turn to new avenues and challenges. I want to thank the Prime Minister for everything and wish him great success in his dedicated work on behalf of the people of Israel," he added.
Sidi's resignation comes on the footsteps of the departures of Chief of Staff Tal Gan-Zvi and Bennett's Political Adviser, Shimrit Meir.
Gan-Zvi, the chief of staff of the Prime Minister's office, who had worked as an advisor to Bennett since his entry into politics in 2012, announced his departure about two weeks ago. The man closest to the Prime Minister for the past 10 years said he "wanted to explore new [professional] avenues."
"...Tal is not only a professional but also a dedicated and loyal man with a big heart. I have no doubt that he will succeed in his future endeavors," said Bennett at the time.
Gan-Zvi, a long-time Bennett loyalist, was considered a confidant of Yamina MK Nir Orbach.
Israel National News learned that in closed talks, Orbach, who has expressed reservations about the current coalition government, vowed to remain in the government because of his ties to Gan-Zvi.
About three weeks ago, the prime minister's political adviser, Shimrit Meir, resigned her post. Gan-Zvi and Meir were rumored to have been at odds over Meir's involvement in Israel's internal affairs while also making her presence felt in the political realm.
Last week, Bennett's personal assistant, Naomi Sasson, announced her resignation.
"I met Naomi in 2016. She began her career in my office at the Ministry of Education and has since grown and gone a long way with me: As a bureau chief, as a personal assistant and as a dedicated professional and most importantly, a people's person," he was quoted as saying.
"24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from morning to night and back; taking care of everything from the big tasks to the small details, with a warm smile and utmost respect for everyone. She was a great help to me, and now - like a proud father - I'm excited for her. Here's to new challenges," wrote Bennett on his Twitter account.
In place of Gan-Zvi, Bennett appointed Adv. Eden Bizman to lead the office. Bizman, 36, had served as Deputy Director General of the Prime Minister's Office, and Deputy Director General in the office of the State Comptroller and Public Ombudsman. He has also served as head of the State Comptroller's staff and a senior adviser to the Education Minister while Bennett held that post. He holds a bachelor's degree in law and a master's degree in business administration from Bar-Ilan University.
The prime minister also appointed Keren Hajioff, a 32-year-old immigrant from the UK who moved to Israel in 2009, as Special Adviser for Foreign Affairs and Communications, after having previously served as Spokesperson of the Northern Command and Head of the Public Diplomacy in the IDF. She currently serves as the Prime Minister’s adviser for foreign media and holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in political communications from Bar-Ilan University.