A Palestinian secretly held by Israel was indicted on terrorism charges on Friday, though Israeli authorities kept a lid on how and where he was detained.

Israel says it has had Wael Abu Rida, a former policeman from the Gaza Strip, in custody since June 21.

A court in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba charged Abu Rida with scores of offenses, including attempted murder, belonging to a terrorist group and liaising with hostile foreign agents, linked to Gaza-based attacks on Israelis.

The indictment, seen by Reuters, said 35-year-old Abu Rida had for a decade been active in Islamic Jihad, a powerful Iranian-backed Palestinian faction that has on occasion challenged the authority of Gaza's governing Hamas Islamists.

Both movements preach the destruction of the Jewish state.

Abu Rida's lawyer, Mohammed Jabarin, indicated that his client would fight the charges.

Abu Rida's confession to Israeli interrogators, which provided the basis for the indictment, was a "false version of events", Jabarin told Reuters in Beersheba without elaborating.

Jabarin and prosecutors at the hearing declined to discuss with the media the circumstances leading to his incarceration, citing a court gag order. The gag, eased on Friday, had previously barred any reporting in Israel about Abu Rida's case.

Islamic Jihad denied any connection to Abu Rida.

"Wael Abu Rida is a Palestinian citizen. He had nothing to do with the Islamic Jihad movement and all these accusations are fabrications," Islamic Jihad official Khader Habib told Reuters.

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