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Minister said to threaten coalition crisis if Ethiopian immigration not increased

Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference organized by Channel 20 in Jerusalem, on March 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference organized by Channel 20 in Jerusalem, on March 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Immigration Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata is threatening to trigger a coalition crisis if further Ethiopian immigrants are not brought to Israel amid an intensifying war in the African country, according to Hebrew media reports.

Quoting sources in the political system, the Haaretz daily reports that Tamano-Shata, a member of the centrist Blue and White party, is “warning that she cannot continue to sit in the government while Jews in Ethiopia are butchered.”

The newspaper says Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is opposed, however, claiming most recent immigrants from Ethiopia aren’t Jewish and that there is no immediate danger to their lives.

It was not clear from the reports if Tamano-Shata was suggesting only that she could step down as a minister, or also that she would oppose the coalition, which holds a razor-thin majority in the Knesset and could be in danger of falling if any of its members opposed it.

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