NEW YORK - Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state lawmakers have arrived in Israel. 

Cuomo says the trip is to demonstrate New York's support for Israel and the country’s right to defend itself against Hamas. New York has 1.7 million Jewish residents, the largest concentration outside of Israel. 

The governor compared the turmoil in Gaza to the Sept. 11 attacks, saying in part, "As New Yorkers, we know firsthand the pain and the fear caused by those who spread terror. Life in New York was forever changed by 9/11.”  

The trip is Cuomo's first overseas since taking office.