Friday, August 15, 2014

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo tours Hamas tunnel during visit to Israel-Capital NY

8/14/14, "Cuomo meets with Peres, tours tunnels,", Laura Nahmias
Gov. Cuomo, Shimon Peres

Near the Israel-Gaza border: "On his second day in Israel, Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to the southern part of the country,  visiting a battery that is part of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, and meeting former Israeli president Shimon Peres to view tunnels constructed between Gaza and Israel by pro-Palestinian forces. 

Cuomo and his delegation, which included Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, traveled in a police-led motorcade to the area this morning.

Cuomo, who traveled to Israel to demonstrate “solidarity” with the nation amid recent fighting, traveled first to an area about 20 miles north of Gaza, to view the battery, where two missile launchers stood within a patch of land surrounded by a chain-link fence.

The governor and his delegation met former president Peres at a kibbutz called Ein Hashlasha. Watermelon and corn were growing nearby.

Peres, 91, was dressed in a dark blue suit, and spoke so softly it was difficult to hear him.

We all knew your father,” he said to the governor, of his father, former governor Mario Cuomo, whom he described as “wonderful.” 

From the kibbutz, Cuomo and the delegation traveled in hot, airless armored vehicles to a site several kilometers from Israel’s border with Gaza, where a handful of Israel Defense Forces soldiers in their green uniforms, carrying automatic weapons, stood next to a large pit. 

About 50 feet beneath the surface, the I.D.F. had discovered an extensive tunnel constructed between Gaza and Israel. 

The tunnel was lined with concrete and wires, which the Israeli government officials said were used by Hamas, with the intent to do harm to Israelis. The length of the tunnel had been destroyed, but a portion had been preserved, with steps built to show soldiers and others what it looked like. 

Cuomo, Peres, the delegation and the press corps who accompanied him on the trip, went one by one down the stairs to view the tunnel. Standing on a rock next to the tunnel’s entrance, a dozen red, green and white houses in Gaza were visible, just across the border. 

Cuomo, who departs the country for the U.S. this afternoon, declared his 30-hour trip to Israel an unqualified success. 

“I think the mission was a fantastic success on a number of levels,” he said.

Cuomo said the delegation's show of support was “very warmly received," and “on another level, I think we learned a lot.”

His visit to the tunnels and the Iron Dome battery site “reminds you how tenacious and aggressive the enemy is.”"

Image: "Cuomo with Peres and members of the Israeli army. (Laura Nahmias)"

8/14/14, "Andrew Cuomo, state leaders end Israel trip by traveling to Hamas terror tunnel stretching across from Gaza," NY Daily News, Kenneth Lovett

Zuckerman and Cuomo
"Cuomo was in Israel for 28 1/2 hours, but squeezed in eight events, six of which had public components. The governor and his delegation inspected the Hamas tunnel, which is a narrow passageway fully equipped with electricity and phone wiring."

Image: "Daily News Publisher Mortimer B. Zuckerman and Cuomo check out Israeli's 'Iron Dome' missile defense system in Israel." Lovett, NYDN


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