JERUSALEM, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Israel's incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed 22 ministers and eight deputy ministers after six weeks of negotiations with his two coalition partners, Yesh Atid and the Jewish Home.
Following is a list of key ministers in the newly-established 33rd Israeli government, which will face complicated domestic situation, including economic slowdown and high cost of living, against the backdrop of the region's political instability:
Moshe Ya'alon will replace Ehud Barak as the defense minister.
Ya'alon, 62, has served as the Israeli army's Chief of Staff between 2002 and 2005, and is considered to be a hawkish right- wing politician over the Palestinian issue.
He has said that "the Palestinian threat harbors cancer-like attributes," while calling the left-wing Peace Now group monitoring settlement activities in the West Bank "a virus."
As for the Iran's nuclear aspiration, though Ya'alon stressed the necessity of protecting Israel from a nuclear Iran, he did refer to an armed attack against Tehran as the last option available.
Uri Ariel, ranking No.3 on the Jewish Home's roster, is appointed as the new housing minister.
Ariel is a settler and has dedicated a major part of his life to establishing settlements in the West Bank.
On Sunday, Ariel said in an interview with Channel 10 TV that he will work to "encourage settlements-building in the West Bank," which definitely collides with the expectation of the international community for Israel to restrain its growing settlements construction.
The new Finance Minister is Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party, an entire newcomer to Israeli politics.
Lapid, 49, is tasked with handling the deteriorating economic situation in Israel, which has been operating without a 2013 budget for three months, with an overwhelming 10.5-billion-U.S. dollar deficit of 2012.
Lapid also faces challenges like the high cost of living, as well as incorporating the ultra-Orthodox and other minorities into the workforce.
Rabbi Shai Piron, No.2 on the Yesh Atid list, is appointed as the new education minister after a heavy battle over the position with outgoing minister Gideon Sa'ar, who will serve as internal affairs minister.
Piron, who became religious during his high school years, has worked to bring secular and religious Israeli youngsters closer. He also dedicated himself to promoting the education system in Israel.