New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was visiting Israel to show her support for the Jewish State, learned about her father’s passing during her visit. She slipped a letter of sorrow into Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Thursday.
Hochul, a Democrat from Florida, found out that her father John Courtney died in Florida overnight due to a brain hemorrhage. This news was received on Hochul’s second day in Israel, during its war against Hamas.
Hochul, while at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, appeared to wipe a tear from her eye before inserting a note written by hand with prayers for Israel and her father into the crack of the limestone wall.
The New York Post reported that Hochul wrote: “I pray for father who loved his trip to the Holy Land and passed away during the night.”
Hochul was meeting with Israeli leaders, as well as families who had been displaced by the deadly Hamas attack on Israeli civilians that took place across the border on Oct. 7. Israel declared war against the terrorist group.
Hamas has killed more than 1,400 Israelis and abducted 200 others to take them into Gaza. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported Thursday that 3,785 Palestinians had been killed since the beginning of the conflict and more than 12,500 other people were injured.
Hochul met Israeli families who were displaced as a result of the conflict. She also heard the painful stories of American families who had been taken hostage by Hamas, and Israelis injured in the fighting. She met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
According to the Governor’s Office, a nonprofit organization will fund Hochul’s travel expenses and those of her staff. The state will cover the cost of her security detail.