Middle East

After shakeup, Israeli PM says he still strives for peace

  • FILE - In this Friday, May 20, 2016 file photo, Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, speaks during a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, May 20, 2016 file photo, Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, speaks during a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speak during a Likud-Yisrael Beitenu campaign rally in the port city of Ashdod.Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. Moshe Yaalon's departure cleared the way for Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, to take over as defense chief. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speak during a Likud-Yisrael Beitenu campaign rally in the port city of Ashdod.Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. Moshe Yaalon's departure cleared the way for Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, to take over as defense chief. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, June 30, 2014 file photo, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman briefs the media after a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the foreign ministry in Berlin. Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. Moshe Yaalon's departure cleared the way for Avigdor Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, to take over as defense chief. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, June 30, 2014 file photo, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman briefs the media after a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the foreign ministry in Berlin. Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, May 22, 2016 capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post. Moshe Yaalon's departure cleared the way for Avigdor Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, to take over as defense chief. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.