Pop star Rihanna didn’t know what was going on when she posted a Twitter message with the hashtag #FreePalestine.

A source close to the Barbados singer said the 26-year-old, who has twice performed in Israel, never intended to make a statement about the Middle East conflict, TMZ reported.

The controversial post showed up on Rihanna’s Twitter feed on Tuesday and was deleted just eight minutes later — but not before it was re-tweeted some 7,000 times by her fans. However, the Internet can be unforgiving and although removed from her own Twitter feed Rihanna’s message can still be seen in online archives.

According to the source, Rihanna, who is only “pro-peace,” was reading online about the conflict in the Middle East, she clicked on a link, and the next thing she knew her fans began asking why she was pro-Palestinian.

Pop star Rihanna's controversial tweet with the #FreePalestine hashtag. (screencapture: TMZ)

Pop star Rihanna’s controversial tweet with the #FreePalestine hashtag. (screencapture: TMZ)

Hashtags are used by Twitter users to categorize short ‘Tweet’ messages posted on the social media website.

Three days earlier NBA star Dwight Howard tweeted the same hasthtag apparently in response to pictures of destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip, but took it down again moments later. Howard then tweeted an apology.

“I apologize if I offended anyone with my previous tweet, it was a mistake!” he wrote.

The twitter flitting comes as Israel and Palestine terrorists in the Gaza Strip have exchanged fire for more than a week. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stem rocket fire at town and cities that increased after two deadly kidnappings in which three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian teen were killed.