What’s Behind the Knife Attacks in Jerusalem?

The increased violence in Jerusalem, usually knife attacks by lone-wolf individual Palestinians, seems to center around rumors about the site holy to Jews as the Temple Mount, yet also revered by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif. They believe that the Jews are planning to take over the Haram al-Sharif.
This history goes way back. A similar situation arose in 1929 when about 6,000 Jews said they were going to “the wall” to pray. Rumors spread quickly. There were riots and in some cases outright massacres. This led the Jewish community to organize a self-protection group. That was the beginning of the Haganah, which was the forerunner of The Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
This is a longstanding pattern that is likely to continue. Unfortunately, it escalates fear and mistrust and takes attention away from other important issues.