Christmas tree in Jerusalem
Christmas tree in JerusalemIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The Christmas tree placed at Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate with the permission of the Jerusalem Municipality has disappeared from the location, reported Maariv Monday.

Residents of the Jewish Quarter and members of the hareidi sector had planned to carry out protests against the tree's presence, and a Shas representative in the Municipality, Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchaki, demanded its removal.

"We have asked the mayor to remove the pine tree from there," Rabbi Yitzchaki said. "The Jaffa Gate plaza is a public place and the Jews making their way to the Kotel pass through there. I hear the voices of protest and G-d willing, we will hold a prayer rally on Sunday, on the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet."

The Municipality denied that religious pressure caused the tree to be removed, Maariv reported. "A private operator submitted a request to operate an event in the period leading up to Christmas at the Jaffa Gate plaza for three days' time. The event ended on Thursday and all of the equipment was taken down."