In a heartbreaking turn of events, New York Governor Kathy Hochul received the devastating news of her father's sudden passing while on an emotional trip to Israel.

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Hochul, who was in Israel to meet with Israeli leaders and tour the Gaza Border mourned the loss of her father while at the same time witnessing the aftermath of an attack on a nearby kibbutz.

As she visited Kfar Aza, a kibbutz just one mile from the Gaza border, Hochul needed to wear a bulletproof vest to assess the damage caused by the attack that claimed the lives of 70 people.

"The slaughter of innocents, the smells, the sights were difficult to process. There was blood all over the walls, the floors, the mattresses, safe rooms that became a house of horrors. I saw where a hostage had been held until he was shot in the head," said Hochul.

During her trip, Hochul met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, engaging in discussions centered around rescuing hostages and providing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. As the representative of the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, Hochul acknowledged her responsibility to address concerns about Israel's treatment of Palestinians, emphasizing the need for peaceful protests while firmly denouncing the heinous nature of the recent attack.

Unexpectedly, while en route to Israel, Hochul received the heartbreaking news of her father's passing. While at the Western Wall, a holy site in Jerusalem, she wrote a note, praying for peace in the region and honoring her late father.

Despite being of the Catholic faith, Hochul made an unscheduled stop at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, against the advice of her security detail where she found solace in a dark shrine, kneeling down to pray.

Losing a parent is an enormous loss, and the pain reverberates deeply. Messages of condolences poured in, including from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who tweeted, "Losing a parent is one of the hardest losses you can experience. I think of my mom every single day. @GovKathyHochul, your father raised an outstanding daughter and leader. And all New Yorkers join you in mourning his passing."

Reflecting on her relationship with her father, Hochul shared that during their last conversation, just before she left for Israel, he gave her some fatherly advice, saying, "I'm proud of you, Dollie, but keep your goddamn head down." "Dollie" was her father's nickname for her.

Hochul credits her father with steering her towards a career in politics. He encouraged her not to choose a college simply to become the wife of a congressman but instead urged her to attend Syracuse, where she could become a congresswoman herself.

Following her return from Israel, Governor Kathy Hochul plans to travel to Florida to be with her family as they mourn the loss of their father.

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