JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Eitan Biran, the sole survivor of the cable car crash in Northern Italy in May which took the lives of his parents, mother’s grandparents and brother, has been smuggled back to Israel by his other grandfather. The boy has been the subject of a struggle for adoption between two of his aunts, the Italian-based sister of his father and the Israeli sister of his mother. Recently he was placed by his Italian aunt, Dr. Aya Biran-Nirko, in a Catholic school run by nuns and monks.
Relatives in Israel, including his aunt, Gali Peleg, had claimed that Biran’s parents, Amit and Tal, had wanted him to receive a Jewish education in Israel and not to be placed in a non-Jewish environment.
Eitan’s grandfather arrived in Italy last week in order to meet his grandchild. A few hours later he was supposed to return the child to the family of Biran-Nirko which had adopted the child in Italy but the grandfather disconnected his phone and did not respond to them. A few hours later the grandfather landed in Israel together with Eitan.
The Milan Jewish community said that Aya Biran-Nirko had tried unsuccessfully to contact the grandfather. Later the family received notification from a lawyer that “Eitan has returned home.”
Originally after the accident, Biran-Nirko took care of Eitan since she speaks Italian and understands the local bureaucracy but the grandparents claim that Eitan’s parents would not have wanted him to be brought up in Italy and in a non-Jewish school.
An Italian court ruled that the family should deposit Eitan’s Israeli passport but this was not done and eventually the passport allowed him to return to Israel with his grandfather. Dr. Biran-Nirko registered a complaint with local police claiming that Eitan was kidnapped.
The Peleg family has not yet responded to claims that Eitan was smuggled away to Israel but the Foreign Ministry confirmed that he was in Israel and the matter is under investigation.