There comes a point in every conflict where violence takes on a logic of its own - the critical juncture where, if rising tensions are not defused, they can lead only to all-out war.
With seven Israelis, and 53 Palestinians, including 14 children and three women, killed either by Hamas rocketfire on Israeli towns or Israeli airstrikes in Gaza - while ill-tempered protests continue in Jerusalem - the conflict in Israel and Palestine is rapidly reaching that point.
There is now a real chance of a fresh war in Gaza or even a third Intifada. Either would involve a terrible human cost.
The last Gaza war, in 2014, claimed the lives of 2200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis. The previous Palestinian uprisings - 1987-1993 and 2000-2005 - left hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians dead.
The UK and US have appealed for calm, asking both sides to "de-escalate tensions".
Israel's neighbours, including newly minted Arab allies in the United Arab Emirates, which normalised relations with Israel just last year, have condemned the eviction of Palestinians from Jerusalem.
However, is there anything foreign governments can do to arrest the rapidly escalating cycle of violence between Israel and the Palestinians? The answer is maybe.
On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu's government closed the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors and re-routed the annual Jerusalem Day parade by Jewish nationalists away from the Muslim Quarter and the Damascus Gate.
That move followed a phone call from Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, to Meir Ben-Shabbat, his Israeli counterpart.
Traditional Israeli allies such as the UK, as well as such regional powers as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, will also put pressure on Israel and, via their own contacts or intermediaries, Hamas, to stop the rocketfire and retaliatory strikes but, truth is, at this point there is little that the diplomats can do.
"I suspect the issue is beyond diplomatic settlement," said Alistair Burt, a former UK minister for the Middle East and a veteran of the peace process. "This cycle of confrontation will play itself out until there is another opportunity for talks - and in that time more lives will be lost."
There are many factors that went into this latest round of violence.
Controversy has been building for months over plans to evict a dozen Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah area and replace them with Jewish settlers.
Video footage of Israeli police hurling stun grenades inside the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in the Islamic world, has fuelled outrage among Palestinians and Muslims around the globe.
And then there is the timing: the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, now in its final week, often sees an increase in tension.
However, the real cause of the chaos lies much deeper.
As long as the fundamental issues underlying the decades-old conflict here remain unaddressed, fresh cycles of conflict are inevitable.
Both sides know this. And both sides also know one another's red lines and the consequences of crossing them. For whatever reason, over the past few days those lines have been crossed.
There is likely to be more violence before this ends.