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Arrest of Danish Woman in Israel Sparks Rumors, Negative Feelings

The case of Ulla Lyngsby, a 25-year-old Danish schoolteacher arrested in Israel and allegedly harassed by security agents, is generating anti-Israel sentiment in the Danish news media and a swarm of rumors.

Donations are being solicited to pay for legal action charging Israel with violations of human rights.

Lyngsby may have been involved in a terrorist plot to assassinate the chief rabbi of Denmark. But little is known beyond what she told the media when she arrived at the airport here last Friday and said later in a television interview Sunday.

By her account, she was seized July 8 and taken to a secret location in northern Israel, where she was interrogated harshly by agents of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service.

Lyngsby claimed they offered her drugs and threatened to kill her Palestinian boyfriend. She complained that she got no help from the Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv and was refused a lawyer.

An Israeli court ordered her detained for 14 days, but she was released after six.

Newspapers and radio stations here are speculating about the young woman, who teaches in a Copenhagen suburb.

One rumor said she was a courier for the Palestine Liberation Organization, carrying money to finance the uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Others said she belonged to a terrorist group in Denmark.

The Israeli ambassador, Amos Ganor, said in a television interview that Lyngsby signed a confession implicating herself in a terrorist plot to assassinate Danish Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior, when he visited Israel on its 40th anniversary last year. Melchior said he knew of such plots and has hired bodyguards.

Lyngsby said she is ready to stand trial in Denmark to prove her innocence. But Prime Minister Poul Schluter issued a statement saying she violated no Danish laws and could not be brought to trial.

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