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Video shows moments before woman "purposely" crashes into building with a Hebrew-Israelite symbol

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Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 11:31:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A woman is charged with criminal recklessness after police say she crashed her car into a north side building with a Hebrew-Israelite symbol on the front door.

IMPD said the woman told officers she did it on purpose.

WRTV's Rachael Wilkerson spoke to the owners of the building located near 35th and Keystone Avenue who claim they were attacked.

Surveillance video from the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge or UPK shows a car pulled into the parking lot Friday, stopped and then moved forward.

It stopped recording as the owner says the woman reversed and crashed into the building.

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Indianapolis Metropolitan Police says the woman told officers she purposely did this because of a Hebew-Israelite symbol on the door and referenced "her people back in Palestine."

That woman, Ruba Almaghtheh, has now been charged with Criminal Recklessness, Intimidation and Institutional Criminal Mischief.

Captain Kpost with the Israelite School of UPK says they are not a Jewish organization.

"So, that's a common misconception that we are affiliated with them in any type of way that our holy shield, the shield of King David that represents Christ our king is associated with the Israeli or Jewish population, which we have no affiliation with. We are affiliated with the Black and brown and Latino community," said Captain Kposh.

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Kposh said four children and a father were inside at the time of the crash. No one was injured and the woman was charged with criminal recklessness.

"The four children were here and every person that was here or part of this incident is undergoing therapy right now from our organization," said Israelite School of UPK.

The FBI and Metro Police are investigating.

"They are going to be looking for any federal nexus, in terms of the crimes that were committed. They'll be working closely with local police to determine what's the appropriate level of prosecution," said former FBI Agent and Regional Security Advisor for the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Brad Swim.

Swim said attacks are on the rise nationwide.

"There is a lot of concern even before this weekend. There was a heighten. We've seen increased incidents of antisemitism across the country. It's catching people off guard," Swim said. "My organization, the Secure Community Network has seen a 200% increase in Anti-Semitic incidents in October of this year compared to this month last year.

The Israelite School of UPK said it's been targeted 3 times since October.

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Captian Jposh with the Israelite School of U.P.K says they are not Israeli or Jewish affiliated, but are affiliated with the Black and Latino Community.

"Since the war started in the Middle East and one of them has been defacing our signs and our isignias and it's becoming more rampant," Captain Jposh said. "That's why we wanted to reach out to the Palestinian community and let them know not to point any hostilities in our direction. We don't have anything to do with what's happening there."

Swim says the Hebrew-Israelite symbol made the school a target.

"So for this particular person that symbol was a bulls-eye. That bulls-eye although inaccurate, is a warning sign to all of us," said Swim.

The Israelite school of U.P.K. said it's working with IMPD, the FBI and attorneys in hopes to increase the charges against the woman.

"The black community has done nothing wrong and nothing to deserve this type of terrorist treatment against us and we will not accept it," Captain Jposh said.

The FBI's response:

“The FBI is continuing to monitor threats associated with the Israel-HAMAS conflict, both in the United States and overseas. As the conflict continues, the FBI has seen an increase in reports of threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions, raising our concern that violent extremists and lone offenders motivated by or reacting to ongoing events could target these communities. We take all potential threats seriously and are working closely with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility, share information, and take appropriate investigative action. We ask members of the public to immediately report anything they consider suspicious to law enforcement or contact their local FBI Office: www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices [fbi.gov]. Tips can also be submitted to tips.fbi.gov or 1-800-CALL FBI.”
FBI

The IJCRC also made a statement on the incident. They said the threat level toward the Indianapolis Jewish community has not increased, but they are reminding everyone to stay vigilant.

"The threat level for our community has not increased. Safe Indiana, our Jewish community security program, was immediately notified, and has been working alongside law enforcement on this incident. Safety and security for our community is of the utmost importance, and we are more secure and prepared than ever before. 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 same promptly to the appropriate authorities. More information on the Safe Indiana program, the security plan for our community, and the incident report form can be found by visiting."
Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council