Middle East

Israeli official says deal reached to expand government

  • 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. Israeli officials say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman. (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. Israeli officials say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman listens during a news conference after his talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia. Israeli officials say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman listens during a news conference after his talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia. Israeli officials say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)  (The Associated Press)

Israeli official say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman.

According to the agreement reached on Wednesday, Lieberman will become the country's new defense minister.

Moshe Leon, a representative for Lieberman, says a deal will be signed later in the day. A government official confirmed both sides have reached an agreement. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The deal caps a tumultuous week of politics that began with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being expected to invite the moderate Labor Party before he chose Lieberman's ultranationalist party instead.

Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, will take over as defense chief in place for former military chief Moshe Yaalon, who resigned earlier this week.