OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:10 PM – Tuesday, November 7, 2023
A 34-year-old woman in Indiana was arrested after she allegedly drove into what she had thought was an “Israeli school.”
On Friday at approximately 11:30 p.m., an Indiana woman was detained after she reportedly crashed her car into a building that she believed was a Jewish school linked to Israel, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The woman was identified as Ruba Almaghtheh.
Following the crash, Almaghtheh allegedly told police officers that she “purposefully” crashed into the school’s building, which displayed a sign out front that read “Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge.”
The 34-year-old woman also reportedly told officers that she had been “watching the news and couldn’t breathe anymore,” according to the police statement.
“She said she passed by a couple of times and saw the ‘Israel school,’” the police’s statement said, adding she later stated, “Yes. I did it on purpose.”
Police also stated that one adult and four children, between the ages of 7-months-old and 3-years-old, were in the building when Almaghtheh crashed her car into it.
However, no injuries have been reported following the incident.
In a press release, police said that Almaghtheh was arrested for “criminal recklessness.”
As of Monday afternoon, the woman has not been formally charged, according to Michael Leffer, a spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
The school she crashed into, the Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge, is a Black Hebrew Israelite organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center says has a reputation of being a “hate group.”
“Black Hebrew Israelites are not the same as Black Jews or Jews of color… Black Hebrew Israelites believe that they are the true Israelites and that the Twelve Tribes of Israel are [darker] people of color,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The center said that the group’s ideologies have become much more anti-Semitic, anti-White, anti-LGBTQ, xenophobic, and misogynistic throughout the past 60 years.
The Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge is an “extreme and anti-Semitic sect of Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) who believe that they are the only true BHI group because of ties to early organizations,” the ADL continued.
Almaghtheh claimed to police that she had been watching TV news coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict that began on October 7th, and since then, she was prompted to crash into the building.
Following the occurrence, the woman’s car reportedly had damage to its rear-end and she confessed to purposefully crashing into the building while talking on the phone with her sister after her arrest, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Captain Chaapash Yahawadah, the leader of the Indianapolis school, voiced how the crash resulted in drastic damage to the building when it was struck by Almaghtheh’s car.
Yahawadah also mentioned that he was holding a class and school-related activities at the time of the crash and that it left the people inside the building “stunned” and “traumatized.”
“Our statement to the Palestinian community is that the Black and brown community has nothing to do with what’s going on over there, the war in the Middle East between Gaza and Israel,” Yahawadah said Monday.
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council shared a statement, expressing how they were alerted of the abrupt crash.
“Although a Jewish facility was not targeted, solely due to ironic misidentification, this is yet another reminder to maintain security protocols, remain vigilant of suspicious activity and to report the same promptly to the appropriate authorities,” the council asserted.
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