Marion McKeone: Biden’s ‘bear hug’ backfires as Netanyahu gives US the brush off

US secretary of state’s call for humanitarian pauses in the bombing of Gaza have fallen on deaf ears as tensions rise with Palestinian death toll

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state: During his fourth visit to Israel, humanitarian issues prefaced the US’s insistence on Israel’s right to defend itself and pursue Hamas militants in Gaza. Picture: Jonathan Ernst/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Signs of increasing tension between the US and Israel over the war in Gaza emerged over the weekend, as Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s call for humanitarian pauses following a meeting in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu’s rebuff complicated the next leg of Blinken’s trip – a visit to Jordan, where King Abdullah has stepped up demands for an Israeli ceasefire.

Blinken had first broached the prospect of a humanitarian pause at ...