It’s easy to sigh and dismiss the violence in Israel and Gaza as just another flare-up in an endless and insoluble conflict.
Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired dozens of rockets at Israel. Israeli airstrikes destroyed a tower block in Gaza. The Israel Defence Forces said about 1500 rockets had been fired into Israeli cities.
There has also been violence in mixed Arab-Jewish towns in Israel itself as Jews and Arabs confronted each other. A fifth of the population of Israel is Palestinian.
On the latest estimate, at least 100 people have died in Gaza and seven in Israel.
The conflict has been called a “doom loop” of endless violence begetting retaliation and then more violence.
Both sides blame the other.
Apart from the ongoing dispute over Israel itself, a series of events have come together to spark this confrontation.
According to Palestinian accounts, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israeli police put up barriers in Jerusalem which stopped Muslims gathering at the Al Aqsa Mosque. The police said they were maintaining order.
Secondly, Israelis have been trying to evict 200 Palestinians from part of East Jerusalem known as Sheikh Jarrah.
The Palestinians had moved to the area in the 1950s after they were forced out of their homes in west Jerusalem.
Some Jews said that Jews had lived in the district before that so property was merely being reclaimed.
Thirdly, Israel commemorated its capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 with a march. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group fired rocket barrages towards Jerusalem.