Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuReuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has raked up a controversy by claiming that Adolf Hitler did not want to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust but was asked to kill them by a Palestinian cleric. 

The Israel PM made the statement during his speech at the 37th World Zionist Congress on Tuesday. 

Netanyahu accused Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini of inciting Hitler to 'burn' the Jews and said he had a 'central role in fomenting the 'final solution'.

"Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, "If you expel them, they'll all come here." "So what should I do with them," he asked. "Burn them," Netanyahu said in his speech.. 

Netanyahu's statement has led to an uproar on social media with many criticising him for 'absolving' Hitler of his crimes while putting the blame on Palestinians for the Jewish genocide. 

Netanyahu made the controversial statement with reference to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been at the centre of contention between Jews and Muslims in recent weeks that has led to spiralling violence between Israelis and Palestinians. 

The Israeli Prime Minister had made a similar speech in the Knesset in 2012 when he had accused the Mufti, Haaretz reported. 

The Israeli news portal reported that even while some researchers had confirmed the role of Husseini in the persecution of Jews by the Nazis, they have not reported any dialogue between him and Hitler as claimed by Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Netanyahu's speech was shared on Twitter by the official PM of Israel account.