Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Uri Shani, the powerful head of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau and a close Sharon confidant for years, unexpectedly resigned last Friday.

The official reason for the surprise resignation was that the heavy work load had become too much for him. Unofficially, however, Likud officials and sources in the Prime Minister's Office said Shani's resignation is the result of conflicts with Sharon's son, Omri, and other advisers close to the prime minister.

Dov Weisglass, a prominent Israeli attorney, was named to replace Shani. A close friend of Sharon, Weisglass represented him in a number of court cases.