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Israeli cabinet approves new hard-line defense minister

Israeli cabinet approves new hard-line defense minister
Appointment of Avigdor Lieberman comes as quid pro quo for his Yisrael Beiteinu party joining fragile Netanyahu government

By Kaamil Ahmed

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli cabinet on Monday approved the appointment of far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman as the country's new defense minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced on Monday.

Lieberman was given the post as part of a deal that also saw his Yisrael Beiteinu party join Netanyahu's government last week, strengthening its earlier one-seat majority.

Monday’s cabinet approval had been held up until Netanyahu agreed to demands by Education Minister Naftali Bennet for the addition of a military attaché to Israel’s security cabinet with a view to facilitating intelligence-sharing, The Times of Israel reported.

Lieberman's appointment to the sensitive defense portfolio has raised eyebrows due to his history of making inflammatory remarks about Palestinians and his lack of military experience, especially when compared to predecessor Moshe Yaalon, a former army general.

source: News Feed
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