Ricketts shows support for Israel, talks possibility of US troops getting involved in conflict

Ricketts, Fischer and other GOP Senators discussed the Israel-Hamas war in a press conference Wednesday.
Pete Ricketts and other Nebraska Senators voiced their support for Israel during a press conference Wednesday.
Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 8:22 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (WOWT) - A group of Senate GOP members, including Nebraska Sens. Pete Ricketts and Deb Fischer, have a clear message: The U.S. must continue backing Israel during its war with Hamas.

“We must continue to stand alongside them as they take on this war to destroy Hamas,” Ricketts said.

Fischer, whose campaign has received more than $93,000 from pro-Israel donors so far this election cycle, echoed Ricketts.

“We need to provide the Israeli government with the support that it needs to defend its own territory and to defend its people,” Fischer said.

As of Monday, there were still 13 Americans missing in the conflict, and some of them may be among the hostages being held in Gaza.

During a conference call Wednesday, 6 News asked Ricketts if he’s concerned that Israel may be putting those Americans in harm’s way as they retaliate against Hamas with rounds of deadly airstrikes.

“If there are Americans at risk, they are put at risk because of Hamas, and Hamas must bear that responsibility,” he said. “Remember, this is a terrorist organization that is putting its own people in harm’s way. They are putting Palestinian women and children and using them as human shields.”

The Gaza Strip averages just under 16,000 people per square mile—its population density is four times greater than Omaha’s.

Gaza residents say they have nowhere to run.

The U.S. currently has two aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean to try and discourage militant groups like Hezbollah from joining the war against Israel.

Ricketts does not believe U.S. troops will fight in this conflict though.

“If maybe our military members are needed to help rescue hostages, I can see that we’d get involved in that way,” he said. “Frankly, at this point, I think Israel can handle it even if the war widens into Hezbollah on the Lebanese border.”

Ricketts said the U.S. may get more directly involved if there is an attack on its assets, troops or civilians.