New York Governor Kathy Hochul learned of her father's death during a visit to Israel to express support for the Jewish state. On Thursday, October 19, she inserted a note expressing grief over her loss into the Western Wall in Jerusalem, reports Foxnews.
Hochul learned that her father, 87-year-old John Courtney, died overnight of a brain hemorrhage in Florida. This news came on the second day of her stay in Israel.
While at the Western Wall, Hokul placed a handwritten note with prayers for Israel and for her father into a crack in the limestone wall. “I pray for my father, who treasured his visit to the Holy Land and who passed away during the night,” Hokul said in her handwritten message.
Being in the Old City of Jerusalem, a holy place for three major religions, is a powerful reminder of both the challenges we face and the great potential for acceptance, tolerance, and understanding of one another. pic.twitter.com/1iQ0UUErBF
- Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) October 19, 2023
Her father's death came as Hokul was meeting with Israeli leaders and families of displaced people affected by Hamas' deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israeli citizens.
More than 1400 people were killed in Israel, and about 200 more were kidnapped by terrorists and taken to Gaza. Gaza's health ministry said on Thursday, October 19, that since the start of the war, 3 Palestinians have been killed and about 785 injured.
Hochul met with Israeli families displaced by the conflict and heard poignant stories from the families of American citizens taken hostage by Hamas, as well as from Israelis wounded in the fighting. She held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog and Israeli President Isaac Herzog - thus reaffirming New York's solidarity with Israel.