A six-year-old Israeli child who was the sole survivor of an Italian cable car accident must be returned to his family in Italy, a court ruled.
Eitan Biran’s parents, brother and two great-grandparents were among the 14 people killed in the May accident.
The incident sparked a custody fight over which of his remaining relatives should care for him next.
The paternal aunt, who lives in Italy, has been entrusted to guardianship by an Italian judge.
But in September he was flown to Israel on a private jet by his maternal grandfather without his permission.
The Israeli police then opened an investigation into the kidnapping and questioned the grandfather, who insisted his actions were legal and in Eitan’s interest.
Now an Israeli court has ordered that Eitan be returned to his usual place of residence in Italy. He found that the boy had deeper ties with his Italian relatives than with those in Israel.
The court also claimed that the grandfather “illegitimately” removed the boy, breaking up the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, an agreement that can help bring a kidnapped child under the age of 16 back to the country where he usually lives.
Eitan, his brother Tom and their parents, Amit Biran and Tal Peleg, had been living in Italy for several years before the accident.
The boy was seriously injured and required weeks of treatment in a hospital in Turin.
After being discharged in June, an Italian juvenile court granted custody to his paternal aunt, Aya Biran-Nirko, an Israeli-born doctor living in Italy.
On September 13, Eitan was taken away for the day by his maternal grandfather, Shmulik Peleg, who moved from Israel to Italy after the accident and was given access rights. He drove Eitan to neighboring Switzerland and then flew him to Israel, using the boy’s Israeli passport.
Eitan’s family in Italy petitioned an Israeli court to return him.
After a hearing in September, the court ordered joint custody for Eitan between her aunt and grandfather ahead of a trial this month.
In its ruling on Monday, the Tel Aviv court also ordered Peleg to pay her aunt 70,000 shekels (15,868 pounds) for legal fees.
But the judge, Iris Ilotovich-Segal, said she still hopes the rift between the families can be healed.
“The boy is the only survivor of the cable car accident and the message of his deceased parents’ ‘spiritual will’ would be that their families set the right path for the boy to walk peacefully and safely among themselves,” he said. written.
The cable car boy will remain in Israel amidst the custody fight
- September 23
Italy investigates the “kidnapping” of a boy who crashed in a cable car
- September 13
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