Israel's prime minister says his government will continue pushing for peace with the Palestinians, even after adding an ultranationalist party to its ranks.

Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be trying Sunday to soothe fears over the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as the new defense minister. Lieberman is one of Israel's most polarizing politicians and is known for his fiery rhetoric toward the Palestinians, among others.

Opening his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he wished to clarify that his broader government will "continue to seek a peace process with the Palestinians."

Lieberman's posting caps a dramatic political week in Israel, in which Netanyahu appeared close to adding the moderate Labor party instead. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon later announced his resignation, saying he no longer trusts Netanyahu and warning of an extremist takeover.