Israeli boy who survived cable car crash must return to Italy, court orders
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli boy who survived cable car crash must return to Italy, court orders

Tel Aviv family court says the six-year-old must live with his maternal aunt after he was 'abducted' to Israel

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Eitan Biran (lower right) was the only survivor of the accident that killed his parents and brother
Eitan Biran (lower right) was the only survivor of the accident that killed his parents and brother

A six-year-old Israeli boy who survived a horrific cable car crash on an Italian mountain must be returned to relatives of his father in Italy, a court has ordered.

The family court in Tel Aviv found Eitan Biran’s “regular residence” was in Italy and that he had lived there since his parents moved there from Israel when he was only a few weeks old.

Eitan had become the focus of a cross-border custody battle after his maternal grandparents took him to Israel.

Both of Eitan’s parents were killed in the accident near Lake Maggiore in May, along with his great-grandparents and two-year-old brother.

Eitan suffered severe injuries including multiple broken bones but appears to have survived because of his father, who cushioned his fall.

He left hospital several weeks later and was put by Italian authorities into the care of his paternal aunt Aya Biran-Nirko.

But during a visit his maternal grandfather drove him to Switzerland, without the aunt’s consent, and chartered a private jet from there to Israel.

On Monday the Tel Aviv court dismissed the grandfather’s argument that because his parents had intended to return from Italy, Israel should be considered his home.

The Israeli ruling said the boy’s aunt had been granted guardianship rights by an Italian court, which allowed her to argue successfully that his transfer to Israel by the grandfather had violated international agreements.

But it said it hoped that the rift between the two sides of Eitan’s family could be healed: “The boy is the only survivor of the cable car accident and the message of his late parents’ ‘spiritual will’ would be for their families to set the right path on which the boy can tread peacefully and safely between them.”

Prosecutors in northern Italy had begun an abduction investigation after Eitan was taken last month.

His aunt’s family had argued it was an infringement of the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention.

There was no immediate comment from his maternal grandparents, but Eitan’s paternal relatives said in a statement: “there are no victors and no vanquished, no winners and no losers.

“There is only Eitan. All that we ask now is that Eitan returns home quickly, to friends and to school, to his family and especially to the therapeutic and educational frameworks that he needs.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments