Israeli Child, Sole Survivor of Italy’s Cable Car Crash, Reportedly Abducted to Israel

A piece of metal that made up part of the cable car system is found and will be used in the inquiry of the cable car accident which left 14 dead, in Stresa, Italy, May 23. (ALPINE RESCUE SERVICE/Handout via Reuters)

Eitan Biran, the Israeli boy who was the only survivor of a cable car accident in Italy, was reportedly abducted back to Israel by his paternal grandfather on the weekend, Channel 12 reported.

The child’s paternal grandfather, Shmulik Peleg, allegedly came to Eitan in what was supposed to be a short visit. Peleg was to bring the boy back to his legal guardians at 6:30 p.m., but purportedly silenced communication with the family, fleeing to Israel with him. The move violates the ruling of Italian courts, which required the child’s passport be surrendered to his guardians in Italy.

Eitan had been at the center of an international custody battle between his family in Italy and Israel. His Italian relatives were awarded legal guardianship, a decision which was fiercely contested by the child’s Israeli family. Eitan‘s relatives in Israel feared his Jewish identity may deteriorate in Italy, according to a report from Yediot.

Following the incident, Eitan‘s Italian aunt filed a police report against the boy’s paternal grandfather, La Republica wrote.

According to Italian daily La Stampa last month, Eitan was enrolled at l’istituto delle Canossiane, a Catholic school run by nuns in the city of Fabia, where his cousins are also enrolled, and where he would have started first grade on Monday.

Eitan is the sole survivor of a cable car accident in Italy that claimed the lives of several relatives. Both of the 6-year-old’s parents were killed, along with his little brother and set of great grandparents. He was hospitalized in critical condition following the incident, and was informed of his family’s fate when his health stabilized.


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