Ayelet Samerano, the mother of the slain Jonathan Samerano (left).

Mother of Hostage Abducted by UNRWA Worker to Address Summit on Replacing UNRWA

GENEVA, February 24, 2024 — Ayelet Samerano, the mother of Yonatan Samerano, whose lifeless body was kidnapped to Gaza by UNRWA social worker Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami on October 7th, will address the International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA, taking place at the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva on Monday, February 26th.

Hosted by the non-governmental human rights organization UN Watch, the summit, to be webcast live, takes place one month after it was revealed that at least 12 UNRWA employees took part in perpetrating the atrocities of October 7th, and more than 1,200 belong to Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

Samerano hopes to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who will be next door to address the 2024 opening of the UN Human Rights Council, along with the president of the UN General Assembly, and foreign ministers from around the world.

Diplomats from all UNRWA donor countries have been invited to attend the summit and to hear Samerano’s testimony about her son’s kidnapping by an employee of the agency.

The summit will address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and formulate a plan for a future beyond UNRWA, a failed agency with deep and widespread ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both terrorist organizations proscribed by the US, EU and other democracies.

Over the last decade, UN Watch had sent repeated warnings to UNRWA about widespread promotion and encouragement of terrorism by UNRWA teachers and other employees.

The organization has launched a global campaign to petition world leaders to replace UNRWA, with already 25,000 signatures worldwide.

In addition to Ayelet Samerano, addressing the summit will be former UNRWA and UN officials, experts on international aid, America’s former Middle East peace envoy, and lawmakers from UNRWA donor countries, including:

• Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, former U.S. point man on Middle East peace process
• James Lindsay, Former UNRWA General Counsel
• Zlatko Zigic, Senior Official, United Nations Migration Agency, 1997-2017
• Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Agency for International Development, 2019-2020
Einat Wilf, Former Member of Knesset, co-author of “The War of Return”
Adi Schwartz, Fellow at the Misgav Institute, co-author of “The War of Return”
Edward Flaherty, Expert on UN investigations and legal proceedings
Amb. Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva
José Garson, Former expert at United Nations Capital Development Fund, focusing on development projects with Least Developed Countries and anti-poverty strategies
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch
Hon. Chris Smith, Member of U.S. Congress, Chair of House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization
• Hon. David Lega, Member of European Parliament, Committees on Foreign Affairs and Human Rights
Hon. Assita Kanko, Member of European Parliament
• Hon. Caroline Yadan, Member of French National Assembly
• Hon. Alfred Heer, Member of Swiss Parliament
• Hon. Melissa Lantsman, Member of Canadian Parliament
• Hon. Ritchie Torres, Member of U.S. Congress
Hon. Anthony Housefather, Member of Canadian Parliament
Baroness Ruth Deech, British House of Lords
Hon. Christian Tybring-Gjedde, Member of Norwegian Parliament
Hon. Ivan Scalfarotto, Member of Italian Parliament


* * * * *

WHEN: Monday, February 26th, 2024 at 11:00AM CET
WHERE: United Nations European Headquarters, Geneva Switzerland

For media interviews and queries, contact press@unwatch.org

UN Watch