Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he did not inform Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz about peace negotiations with the UAE because he feared that the Blue and White Party might accidentally leak the information to the press, sparking an Iranian response.

“‘Let them know? I’ve been dealing with this for years,” Netanyahu said, speaking to Israel Hayom, when asked why he didn’t tell Gantz about the talks. “They’ve been here all of two months. That was the [coalition] agreement – maintain discretion, to prevent Iran and others from torpedoing it.”

Netanyahu clarified that he didn’t mean Gantz and Blue and White would leak the information to Iran personally, but that “they can speak with advisers and this information could get out.

The current Likud/Blue and White unity government was cobbled together in May after three consecutive elections failed to allow either party or its allies to create a majority. On Monday, the Knesset’s finance committee voted to extend the budget deadline until December 3 to avoid a new election amid heated disagreements over the budget, which threaten to break the coalition government apart