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'Look me in the eyes' - Israeli mother whose son’s body was kidnapped by UNRWA worker demands answers from UN chief

'UNRWA has no reason to exist,' says Ayelet Samerano

Ayelet Samerano at a UN Watch summit while footage of UNRWA worker kidnapping her son's body to Gaza is being shown (Photo: Screenshot)

UN Watch, a human rights organization that monitors the conduct of the United Nations, held a summit on Monday to end UNRWA and find alternative solutions for development aid without terrorism.

Among the participants at the summit was the mother of Yonatan Samerano, who was killed by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7. A UNRWA worker reportedly kidnapped Samerano’s body into Gaza.

“You are asking me why UNRWA needs to be replaced? A UNRWA worker kidnapped my son,” Ayelet Samerano told the summit.

“A social worker for a so-called humanitarian organization kidnapped my son. How can someone working for an organization that claims to do good in this world do something so cruel and inhumane? How can the UN pay this man who dragged my son’s limp body on the ground, and then picked him up if he was a prize back to Gaza? How many more lives have been ruined by this person hauling my son like he is not even a human being into a UNRWA car? Are there any other hostages held by UN employees even as we are speaking right now? Does the UN hold my son? Do you know where he is? Bring him back to me.”

Samerano demanded to speak to UN Sec.-Gen. António Guterres, who was in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

“Mr. Guterres, look me in the eyes and answer me now: Where is my son? Bring him back home. You are next door. You have the opportunity to speak with me and tell me what happened to my son. I’m not an investigator and cannot answer these questions. I’m just a mother who lost the most precious thing in the world. That is why I am standing here before you today and demanding answers about my son. We already have proof that at least 42 UNRWA employees took part in the October 7th terrorist attack – for me, there is only one decision: UNRWA has no reason to exist.”

The surveillance camera footage of Samerano’s body being dragged by a UNRWA social worker believed to be Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami, was screened at the summit. It is part of the evidence that Israel published earlier this month when Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed the identities of 12 UNRWA workers who actively participated in the Oct. 7 massacre.

In addition, another 30 UNWRA staff are believed to have assisted during the massacre, while more than 1,500 staff are reportedly affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization.

Israel has called for UNRWA to be defunded and replaced with legitimate humanitarian agencies. It has also called for the resignation or dismissal of its leadership and an investigation of its ties to Hamas.

The UN Watch summit, which took place in Geneva, was attended by a number of European politicians, including from Belgium, France, Italy and Sweden, as well as Canadian members of parliament, a U.S. congressman, former envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross, Baroness Ruth Deech from the UK House of Lords, and former UNRWA General Counsel James G. Lindsay. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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