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Israeli defense minister steps down

Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, 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.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week invited Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party into the government in a move meant to shore up his narrow governing majority. But Lieberman reportedly demanded the Defense Ministry as a condition, forcing Netanyahu to ask Yaalon to step aside. Yaalon angrily announced his...

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