BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Ma'an) -- Christmas festivities in the Holy Land focus on the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born and the Palestinian Authority hosts annual celebrations. Israel's government highlights events in Nazareth, a predominantly Palestinian city in Israel where Jesus is believed to have spent much of his life growing up with his mother Mary and her husband Joseph. But there will be no celebrations this year in a Jewish suburb of Nazareth, after its mayor sparked outrage by refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative. Nazareth Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is adjacent to Nazareth. It has a sizable Palestinian Christian minority, as does mostly Muslim Nazareth itself. "The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative," Mayor Shimon Gapso told Agence France-Presse. "Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen -- not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor," he said Wednesday of the northern Israeli town. "Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there," he said. Gabso's decree sparked accusations of racism from the mayor of Nazareth proper. "This is a racist decision," said Ramiz Jaraisy, Nazareth's mayor. "But it comes as no surprise, unfortunately, because this person is already well known for his racist views." Reached by phone, Jaraisy told Ma'an that his counterpart "should respect the religious feelings and beliefs of everyone in Nazareth Illit, not just his own religion's." In any case, Christians as well as Muslims in the suburb will ignore Gapso's dictates, Jaraisy said.