Israel's new government excludes ultra-religious
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
President Shimon Peres (C) sits with Shas Party leaders at the President's residence on January 31, 2013, Jerusalem.
- Ultra-orthodox parties are out after years of being in
- A party that supports West Bank settlements is in the government
- Netanyahu's priorities: fiscal responsibility, cost of living, Iran
- Tzipi Livni will serve again as justice minister
Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli politicians have reached an agreement on a new government that excludes ultra-religious parties, which have almost always been a part of the ruling coalition.
The main ultra-orthodox Shas Party will join the Labor Party in the opposition rows of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. It leaves the governing coalition with no party that traditionally trumpets the concerns of the poor.
After weeks of negotiations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forged a coalition deal with centrists and ultra-conservatives after his conservative Likud Beitenu Party landed a solid lead in Israel's January 22 national election, Likud spokeswoman Noga Katz said.
The Knesset holds 120 seats, and more than 60 are usually needed to form a coalition government.
But Netanyahu has said he wanted to build a large majority, and he has achieved that goal by signing on enough parties to garner 68 seats, Katz said.
The centrist Yesh Atid party, less than a year old, made an impressive debut in its first election, receiving 19 Knesset seats to become the second largest member of the new government.
The Jewish Home Party, which supports the expansion of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank territory, also signed on to the coalition. So did "The Movement" of Tzipi Livni, another centrist party.
Livni, a former opposition leader, foreign minister and justice minister, will again serve in the justice minister post. Her party was the first to join Netanyahu's coalition.
As top priorities for the new government, the prime minister named fiscal responsibility, lowering the cost of living in Israel and containing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0223 GMT (1023 HKT)
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 2157 GMT (0557 HKT)
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories