Grandpa who ‘kidnapped’ Eitan (6) after cable car disaster: ‘I had to take him to Israel’

The 6-year-old survivor of the cable car disaster in Italy remains in Israel for the time being, pending the next hearing in the kidnapping case. A grandfather took the boy, who lost his parents in the tragic accident last May, to Israel earlier this month without his guardians permission.

The first hearing took place in Tel Aviv Court on Thursday. Until the next plenary session on 8 October, the fighting parties will share the concern of the young Eitan in Israel. Agreements have been made about that, the grandfathers lawyers told the Italian news agency ANSA. Within the family there has been a big fight about the boys future.

Israel-born Eitan moved to Italy with his parents at a young age. He lived with his Aunt Aya Biran-Nirko in Italy after the cable car disaster. The sister of Eitans father had been granted custody by the Italian authorities. She claims that Eitans mothers father, Shmuel Peleg, had kidnapped the child during a visit.

I had to save him

Grandpa Peleg drove Eitan in a rental car to Switzerland and they then flew from that country on a private plane to Israel. Peleg says he has the best interests with his grandson, who he believes would not receive proper care in Italy. What is good for him outweighs my personal interests, said the man on television. So I decided I would save the boy and take him to Israel.

According to Biran-Nirko, it was Eitans parents wish for their son to grow up in Italy. She said she had a lot of concerns about Eitan on Thursday entering court and wanting to take him home as soon as possible.

Eitan was the only one who survived a cable car accident at Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in May. There were fourteen deaths, including the boys parents, a brother and two great-grandparents of the boy. The cabin they were in crashed when the cable broke. The emergency brake was deliberately decommissioned because it caused technical problems several times. Several suspects have been arrested in the case.