The six-year-old boy, the only survivor of the cable car crash, returned to Italy after a custody dispute. Eitan Biran’s parents, brother and two great-grandparents were among the 14 people who died in the May accident.
Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the appeal of the grandfather (on his mother’s side) appealing against previous Israeli lower court rulings that the boy should be sent back to his (paternal) aunt, who lived in Italy, who had been granted custody of his grandson . The boy’s return was delayed after his family appealed to the Supreme Court. Judges rejected the appeal last month.
The boy returned to Italy.
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The boy taken by his grandfather
The Reuters agency recalled that Eitan had been living with Aunt Aya Biran-Nirko since his parents, younger brother and 11 others died in a roller coaster crash in the Alps in late May this year.
In mid-September, the six-year-old went missing. Aya Biran-Nirko then told journalists that the boy’s grandfather, Shmulik Peleg, had come to visit and took the child on a planned family trip, but they had not returned from it.
First, Eitan was transported by his grandfather to Switzerland and from there – by a private jet – to Israel. The grandfather argued that his actions were lawful and in the boy’s best interests, but Italian prosecutors launched a kidnapping investigation, demanding Eitan’s return under the Hague Convention.
Reaction of the parties to the conflict
My aunt’s lawyers welcomed the Supreme Court ruling, which they described as “ending a pathetic and unnecessary chapter that was damaging to little Eitan,” the Reuters Agency said.
In turn, a statement issued by representatives of the grandfather said that the family would “continue the legal fight to bring Eitan to Israel.” The ruling, the man’s lawyers stated, means that the boy “will be taken to a foreign country, away from his roots and loving family and the burial place of his parents and younger brother.”
Main photo source: ABIR SULTAN / PAP / EPA