By Simone McCarthyAndrew Raine, Sophie Tanno and Tori B. Powell, CNN

What we’re covering

  • Israel’s military issued a new appeal for Gazans to leave areas of the southern city of Khan Younis, where it is battling Hamas. Israel calls the city the “main stronghold” of the militants, saying it has been fighting them “house to house.”
  • A hospital in central Gaza said it received more than 70 fatalities in the space of a day as Israel presses on with its campaign to destroy Hamas. Two of the oldest mosques in northern Gaza also appear to have been damaged.
  • An Israeli hostage held in Gaza – 25-year-old Sahar Baruch – has died, according to his kibbutz. Hamas said he was killed in a failed Israeli rescue operation, while Israel’s military has not commented on the allegation.
  • The United States is facing condemnation after it vetoed a UN Security Council resolution Friday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Doctors Without Borders said the US “stands alone in casting its vote against humanity.”
  • Here’s how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.

US State Department to bypass congressional review period to send Israel thousands of munitions, source says

From CNN’s Natasha Bertrand

The US State Department transmitted an emergency declaration to lawmakers late Friday night for the sale of thousands of munitions to Israel, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN. The move bypasses the standard 20-day period that congressional committees are typically afforded to review such a sale.

The declaration followed a request by the State Department earlier in the week for Congress to approve the sale of 45,000 shells to Israel for its Merkava tanks. The source added that the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which have oversight over military sales, had been under “pressure” from the State Department to approve the request quickly amid Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

The committees typically have 20 days to review foreign military sales, allowing lawmakers to raise questions about a transaction and delay it if needed. But late Friday night, the State Department transmitted an emergency declaration to the committees for 13,000 of the tank shells, worth about $106 million, for immediate delivery to Israel, the source said Saturday.

“Effective immediately, the items can be transferred,” the source said. “No further information, details or assurances were provided.”

The administration’s move to transfer some of the munitions comes as the US is under growing domestic and international pressure to support a ceasefire in Gaza, and place conditions on some of the weapons it is providing to Israel.

“As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or comment on proposed defense transfers or sales until they have been formally notified to Congress,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN when asked about the request.

Reuters first reported the initial administration request for 45,000 shells.

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