Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed today (Tuesday) that the land of 'Palestine' is not occupied by Israel, but by the United States, and that Israel is not an independent state.

Speaking at a forum on 'Digital Life and Creativity,' Abbas said: “When Israel says that it is celebrating its independence day, who has gained independence from? Who was occupying the State of Israel so that it celebrates the anniversary of its freedom from this occupation, this is a big lie.”

In his remarks, which were reported by multiple Arabic-language news sites as well as the pro-Israel Elder of Ziyon blog, Abbas said that since Israel is in his opinion not truly independent, "America is the one occupying Palestine."

Abbas also used the clashes in Tel Aviv last week over the erection of a partition between men and women during Yom Kippur prayers to attack Israel's record on women's rights.

Abbas said that women in Israel are prohibited from demonstrating together with men in demonstrations "because they are an impure gender."

No such restrictions exist in Israel, and women have demonstrated together with men for as long as the state has existed, including in both the recent pro and anti-government demonstrations and rallies. Jewish law, halakha, requires the presence of a mehitza, or barrier, between men and women during public prayers, but not at other times.

Abbas has come under fire recently for a speech he made in August in which he claimed that Hitler killed Jews "because they dealt in usury and money."

"This is explained in many Jewish books," Abbas said at the time. "They say that Hitler killed them because of their Jewishness. Not so. They (the Nazis) fought them because of their social role and not because of their religion."

The PA chairman also repeated the debunked 'Khazar theory' that modern Jews are not descended from the ancient Israelites and Judeans but of Turkish and European converts to Judaism.