Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Martin

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin, who was the first European foreign minister to visit the Gaza strip in over a year, reported his findings to the EU on Saturday.

Martin described what he found in Gaza to his European Counterparts as a “humanitarian crisis” at an informal half yearly meeting in Cordoba, Spain.

“There have been many false dawns before, but the general view was to support talks between the two sides, and also the need to have confident building measures such as the ending of the blockage in Gaza, better reproach in the West Bank and supporting the institutional capacity of the Palestinian authority,” Martin told RTE News.

Martin entered Gaza last week through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt under a UN escort.

At the same meeting in Cordoba, Catherine Ashton, EU’s foreign policy chief, said she hopes to visit Gaza next month when she is on a visit to the region to take a firsthand look at what is going in there.