Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has
named businessman Yair Shamir, 67, as his number two in Yisrael Beiteinu party.
The appointment of Shamir, who is the son of former Prime Minister and Likud member
is likely to ruffle the feathers of senior party members including National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau,
who were not briefed on the move in advance.
The appointment is also viewed as a "slap in the face" to Defense Minister Ehud Barak,
who refused to extend Shamir a third term as the chairman of the Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. The move is also an embarrassment to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz,
who appointed Shamir as The chairman of the National Roads Company only four months ago.
Political analysts said that the move is meant to promote a message of stability and continuation from the party.
Should the attorney general decide to indict Lieberman, preventing him from serving in the government, Shamir will assume his role as foreign minister.
Meanwhile, Lieberman has been holding secret talks to add more key figures to Yisrael Beiteinu, including an unnamed senior ambassador.
Neither Lieberman nor Shamir were available for comment.
Itamar Eichner and Reuven Weiss contributed to this report