Justin Bieber never intended to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his manager told Yedioth Ahronoth Tuesday in response to reports that the teen idol had refused to hold such a meeting after discovering that children from the Gaza vicinity would also be in attendance.
"We never asked to meet with (Netanyahu) nor has anyone connected with us asked to meet him," Scooter Braun told the paper.
But the Prime Minister's Office continued to claim Tuesday that Braun's mother as well as a Canadian Jew associated with the family asked to schedule the meeting, which was set for 7 pm Wednesday at the Prime Minister's Residence.
Braun called the report "ridiculous", but added that Bieber's entourage loves Israel and intends on staying, despite being hounded by "aggressive" paparazzi photographers.
The Prime Minister's Office claims Bieber canceled his meeting with Netanyahu because of the participation of children from the Gaza vicinity.
"The office decided to turn the meeting into a public relations demonstration and invited children from the Gaza vicinity communities who were on the bus hit last Thursday," a statement from the PMO said.
""The goal was to make use of the international press exposure at such an event to show the world that Hamas is intentionally firing at children even following Goldstone's regretful article."
Justin Bieber on visit to Sea of Galilee (Photo: Yariv Katz)
However, officials from the various communities in the south denied the children had ever been invited to take part in such a meeting, further complicating the Prime Minister's Office in conflicting reports.
"What meeting?" asked David Tietz, 10, who was on the school bus that was hit by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza. He mentioned, however, that free tickets to Bieber's upcoming show had been offered to the younger residents of the rocket-plagued area.
Sderot Municipality also denied hearing of such a meeting, but confirmed that it had received 200 tickets to the show. "We know nothing about a meeting, with Netanyahu or Bieber," said spokeswoman Sima Gal.
Bieber's manager also denied the singer was in any way opposed to supporting the children of the south, claiming that he had willfully donated tickets to his show and would "love to see them there".
Braun told the Yedioth Ahronoth reporter who contacted him that he was the first to notify him of such a meeting and its evident cancelation. He added that Justin Bieber respected the prime minister but wanted to stay out of politics.
The teen singer appeared extremely frustrated with his visit to Israel Tuesday, as was evident in his Twitter post, "I want to see this country and all the places I've dreamed of and whether its the paps or being pulled into politics its been frustrating".
In a direct stab at the Holy Land's paparazzi he tweeted, "Staying in the hotel for the rest of the week u happy?"
Itamar Eichner contributed to this report