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Hamas‘ political rival in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a televised speech Friday that he has urged the U.S. and European countries to pressure Israel to halt the offensive. Abbas also called for Palestinian unity.

Hamas wrested Gaza from Abbas in 2007, deepening a split the two sides have been unable to overcome.

Despite the Gaza fighting, Abbas said he was determined to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem on Nov. 29. Such recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state would be a largely symbolic step, but Israel and the U.S. oppose the idea, saying it’s an attempt to bypass negotiations.

In Israel, military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said no decision has been made yet on a ground offensive but all options are on the table. Dozens of armored vehicles have been moved to Israel’s border with Gaza since fighting intensified Wednesday, following Israel’s assassination of the Hamas military chief.

She said 16,000 reserve soldiers were called up Friday, and the army could draft an additional 14,000 soldiers. She did not say where the reservists were being deployed.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the Cabinet at a special meeting Friday night for authorization to activate additional soldiers.

The violence has widened the instability gripping the region, straining already frayed Israel-Egypt relations. The Islamist government in Cairo, like Hamas linked to the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood, recalled its ambassador in protest and dispatched Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to show solidarity with Gaza.

Kandil called for an end to the offensive while touring Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital with Ismail Haniyeh, the Gaza prime minister who was making his first public appearance since the fighting began.

In one chaotic moment, a man rushed toward the two leaders, shouting as he held up the body of a 4-year-old boy. The two prime ministers cradled the lifeless boy who Hamas said was killed in an Israeli airstrike — a claim Israel denied.

Fighting to hold back tears, Kandil told reporters that the Israeli operation must end.

“What I saw today in the hospital, the wounded and the martyrs, the boy … whose blood is still on my hands and clothes, is something that we cannot keep silent about,” he said.

Israel said it halted its incessant air attacks on militant targets in Gaza during Kandil’s visit, though Hamas security claimed three airstrikes hit the territory during that period.

Militants, meanwhile, fired off more than 60 rockets after Kandil arrived in Gaza. The pace of cross-border fighting quickly resumed after the Egyptian leader’s departure.

In Egypt’s two largest cities, Cairo and Alexandria, thousands protested the Israeli offensive Friday in marches organized by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against Israel. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a few hundred protesters burned an Israeli flag.

Prominent Brotherhood figures took part, many brandishing the checkered Palestinian scarf, or keffiyeh, during the marches.

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