A six-year-old Israeli boy whose family was killed in an Italian mountainside cable car crash in May was reportedly taken to Israel on Saturday in an alleged kidnapping by his grandfather, amid a guardianship battle that s ‘intensifies.

Fourteen people, including Eitan’s father Amit Biran, 30, his mother Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, his brother Tom, 2, and great-grandparents Barbara and Yitzhak Cohen from Tel Aviv, 71 and 81 years old, respectively, were killed in May. 24, after a cable broke on the aerial tramway bringing weekend visitors to the top of Mottarone Mountain in the Piedmont region. All five were buried in Israel a few days later.

Eitan Biran’s current legal guardian, Aya Biran-Nirko, the Italy-based sister of the late father of the child, Amit Biran, has filed a complaint with Italian police claiming that he had been abducted by her grandfather. Maternal father, Shmuel Peleg, public broadcaster Kan reported. .

Eitan left his home in Fabia, northern Italy, with Peleg on Saturday morning, but did not return in the early evening as agreed, according to the report. Biran-Nirko repeatedly tried to reach Peleg until she received a message from him saying: “Eitan has returned home,” the report said.

Biran-Nirko reportedly received a message from Peleg’s lawyer confirming that Eitan had arrived in Israel.

According to the report, the child’s trip to Israel was made possible because the Peleg family continued to hold their Israeli passport, contrary to an order from an Italian judge.

Last month, Gali Peleg, Eitan’s mother’s sister, said she took legal action to adopt her nephew.

Rescuers work near a wrecked cable car after it collapsed near the top of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region of northern Italy on Sunday, May 23, 2021. (Italian fire brigade Vigili del Fuoco via AP)

Peleg accused Biran-Nirko in August of kidnapping the boy and preventing him from having a normal childhood. Although Eitan grew up in Italy, Peleg’s husband Ron Peri claimed that his Israeli parents never wanted him to grow up there and preferred that he receive a Jewish education in Israel.

In June, Marcella Severino, mayor of the town of Stresa from which the cable car left, told an Italian newspaper that Biran-Nirko was “a constant presence in the child’s life, he is in good hands”.

Eitan suffered severe trauma in the crash and Biran-Nirko took charge of the hospital system and his recovery, although Peri said the arrangement was meant to be temporary.

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