Following reports on Wednesday that Agriculture Ministry workers would be uprooted the magnolia tree presented to President Shimon Peres by US President Barack Obama, the ministry and the Office of the President of Israel clarified on Thursday that this would not be occurring.
As of Wednesday evening, the Agriculture Ministry had confirmed that with the knowledge of all the parties involved, the tree had been planted in a special envelope so that it would not directly touch the ground. Workers from Plant Protection and Inspection Services would then be temporarily taking the tree away for surveillance, returning it after it was proved to be free of foreign plant lesions. On Thursday, however, the Agriculture Ministry and the Office of the President of Israel stressed that the tree would not be being removed at all. Instead, Agriculture Ministry workers will be conducting all necessary tests in accordance with Israeli law with the garden of the president's residence, without removing the tree from the place that it was planted, the offices said.