The father of the governor of New York passed away during her tour to Israel during a period of conflict, and on Thursday, the governor left a note at Jerusalem’s Western Wall to express her sorrow.
As she set out on the second day of a journey to show solidarity for Israel during its war with Hamas, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul was informed of the tragic death of her 87-year-old father, John Courtney, from a brain hemorrhage in Florida.
Hochul placed a handwritten message with prayers for Israel and her father into a breach in the limestone wall at the Western Wall after appearing to wipe away a tear.
“As the state with the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, New York and Israel share a bond that will never be broken,” Hochul wrote on X, now known as Twitter.
In response to a brutal cross-border killing committed by Hamas militants in southern Israel over two weeks ago, the Israeli military has been ruthlessly attacking Gaza.
The governor’s trip takes place during this time. According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, 3,785 Palestinians have died and nearly 12,500 have been injured since hostilities began.
More than 1,400 people have died in Israel, and almost 200 more have been kidnapped and brought into Gaza by Hamas.
Hochul spoke with Israeli families affected by the conflict and heard heartbreaking accounts from the relatives of American hostage-takers held by Hamas as well as Israelis who had been injured in battle.
Additionally, she met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel, and Michael Herzog reiterated New York’s support for Israel.
Hochul and her staff’s travel expenses are being paid for by a nonprofit, and the state is paying for her security detail, according to the governor’s office.