Ayelet Samerano, whose murdered son Yonatan was kidnapped to Gaza by an UNRWA social worker in an UNRWA vehicle, with UN Watch director Hillel Neuer. "Mr. Guterres, where is my son?"

Ayelet Samerano at the International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA

Ayalet Samerano, Mother of Israeli hostage held by UNRWA worker


Full remarks:

Good morning everyone.

Last week the Hostage Families Forum held a press conference and the world heard my cry. A mother’s cry.

I would like to tell you a little bit about Yonatan.

About his core values as a 21-year-old and the way he was raised.

The young people that go to these parties, like the NOVA party, believe in freedom, in democracy, in accepting every one of us as equal.

Yonatan and his friends believe in acceptance and care for our world, for the earth and for all human beings and animals.

My young son’s generation don’t care about religion, faith, sexual orientation or race, they just want to live a peaceful and happy life.

My son was not armed, he was not in a war situation, his only weapons were his smile, happiness and charm.

Yonatan was full of life.  Always smiling, always joking.

He did everything with joy and people always wanted to be near him, to be his friends.

Yonatan’s entire existence was full of life.  Even now we cannot think about him in relation to tragedy, and murder.

Yonatan is the life and the life is Yonatan.

You are asking me why UNRWA needs to be replaced?

An UNRWA worker kidnapped my son.

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.

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.

UN, clean your house! 

UN Watch