The air strike in Gaza has claimed hundreds of lives according to health officials. / Photo: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's aide, Hananya Naftali, walked back controversial comments on Tuesday that suggested Israeli Air Force hit a hospital in Gaza that left 500 Palestinians dead.

An air strike ripped through the Al-Ahly Baptist Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday night and has provoked huge outrage all over the world. Tens of thousands of people have poured onto the streets around the world in support of the Palestinians.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has termed it a "war crime".

Naftali made the comments in a post on X that has since been deleted, although screenshots of it had been widely shared on social media.

Women and children were among those injured in the Tuesday night hospital attack.

"Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza. A multiple number of terrorists dead. It's heartbreaking that Hamas is launching rockets from hospitals, Mosques, schools, and using civilians as human shields," the post said.

Hospital burning

The post was accompanied by a photo of a fire burning in the hospital after the strike.

However he later posted an explanation blaming a report by Reuters news agency as the source of the information.

"Earlier today I shared a report that was published on @reuters about the bombing at the hospital in Gaza which falsely stated Israel struck the hospital. I mistakenly shared this information in a since-deleted post in which I referenced Hamas’ routine use of hospitals to store weapons caches and conduct terrorist activity. I apologize for this error," the post said.

He added: "As the IDF does not bomb hospitals, I assumed Israel was targeting one of the Hamas bases in Gaza. It is known that Hamas is using civilians as human shields, it is a war crime and a crime against humanity. This should be the focus."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that targeting a hospital is a "hideous war massacre" that cannot be tolerated, adding that any talks about anything else rather than stopping the war is unacceptable.

"Israel has crossed all red lines. ... We will not leave nor allow anyone to expel us from there," he added.

TRT Afrika