TEL AVIV (Jul. 25)
A visiting Danish schoolteacher, arrested in Israel July 8 and subsequently expelled, was suspected of belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Force 17 commando squad and of planning a terrorist attack against civilians in Israel.
According to the minutes of a court hearing released this week, Ulla Lyngsby, 25, was charged with membership in Force 17 and specifically of planning a terrorist attack, probably at the closing ceremonies of the Maccabiah, which took place July 13 at the Western Wall.
Force 17 is the elite commando unit of the PLO responsible for many killings. Lyngsby denied the charge.
The story had gone unreported in Israel, but wide media coverage of the case in Denmark prompted journalists in Haifa to appeal to the High Court of Justice to end the ban imposed on publishing any of its details.
The court ruled that Haifa District Court release parts of the transcripts of the hearing, which took place behind closed doors.
District Court Judge Rafael Harsonsky ordered Lyngsby held in custody for 11 days. She was deported, however, after six days.
Lyngsby, who teaches in a suburb of Copenhagen, complained about harsh Israeli treatment, in interviews after she returned to Copenhagen on July 14. She claimed she did not know that her boyfriend, Jihad Jishlawy, belonged to Force 17.
But the Israeli ambassador to Denmark, Amos Ganor, said Lyngsby had signed a confession implicating herself in a plot to assassinate Danish Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior.