High Court Intervenes to Delay Return of Eitan Biran to Italy

Shmuel Peleg, the grandfather of Eitan Biran who lost his parents and younger brother in an Italian cable car disaster, arrives for a court hearing on charges that he kidnapped the 6-year-old boy in bringing him to Israel, in Tel Aviv, November 11. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The Israeli High Court has issued a temporary order halting the return of 6-year-old Eitan Biran to family in Italy, where the boy’s parents died in a cable car crash.

The court’s intervention came in response to an appeal filed by his maternal grandparents earlier on Wednesday against a lower court ruling that he must go back to relatives in Italy.

The justices said that Eitan Biran will remain in Israel until at least November 23, in order to allow time for the appeal to be adjudicated. He had been scheduled to return to Italy next week.

In a statement, the family in Israel said “we hope the court will instruct for his immediate examination by professionals so they could figure out his true will. And we hope they will order to keep Eitan in Israel, as his parents wanted,” according to Ynet.

The boy was brought to Israel by his grandfather without the consent of the family members in Italy.

The lower courts had found that Biran had deeper ties and was more at home with his Italian family and surroundings than with his Israeli family and surroundings, where he had also spent time.


The appeal claims that the lower courts did not hear all the relevant evidence for determining what would be in Eitan’s best interests.