LONDON, July 24 (UPI) -- More than 600 anti-Semitic incidents, including 77 involving violence, were reported in the first six months of 2009 in Britain, a Jewish group said Friday.
The Jewish Community Security Trust said the increase, including a spike in reported incidents in January, appeared to be in response to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, which began in December and continued into January, the BBC reported Friday.
The group recorded 609 incidents between January and June, up from 276 during the same period in 2008. Most involved verbal or written abuse, including letters sent to synagogues.
There were 62 incidents of property damage and 77 involving violence, including two in which the victim could have been killed. In one, an attacker tried to run someone down with a car.
The group said it did not include 200 incidents that appeared to be fueled by opposition to Israeli policies, not by anti-Semitism.
"British Jews are facing ever higher levels of racist attack and intimidation that threaten the well-being of our otherwise happy and successful Jewish community," said Mark Gardner, a spokesman for the group. "There is no excuse for anti-Semitism, racism and bias, and it is totally unacceptable that overseas conflicts should be impacting here in this way."