Penina Tamanu-Shata
Penina Tamanu-Shata Hezki Baruch

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday held a private meeting with Immigration and Absorption Minister Penina Tamanu-Shata (Blue and White).

The meeting lasted an hour and a half, reports said.

According to News 12, the meeting focused on Netanyahu's efforts to convince Tamanu-Shata to "desert" Blue and White and help him form a narrow right-wing government.

Blue and White have said that they knew about the meeting in real time, and that the meeting itself was not news-worthy.

Tamanu-Shata said that that the meeting was "completely professional, regarding the preparations of the Immigration and Absorption Ministry during the coronavirus period, and ahead of the expected waves of immigration in the coming years."

"The meeting was held with the knowledge of [Defense Minister] Benny Gantz (who heads the Blue and White party - ed.). Any other speculations do not exist. I will not lend a hand to the formation of a narrow government. The only thing that we need to do now is pass the 2020-2021 budget."