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Eitan Biran’s grandfather appeals to keep him in Israel

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Eitan Biran’s grandfather on Monday filed an appeal with the Tel Aviv District Court over the reversal of the lower court’s ruling last week to send the six-year-old boy back to Italy to live with his Italian-Israeli aunt.

By filing the appeal itself, Biran is expected to remain in Israel until the district court rules.

It is not clear how long the appeal process will last, and there may be another appeal to the Supreme Court.

Based on the lightning speed at which the case has passed to date, it can be resolved within a period of weeks. But usually, appeals can take months.

In the meantime, Biran will live with his aunt, who will remain in Israel until the end of the proceedings.

Police and rescue services are seen near the cable car that crashed after collapsing in Stresa, near Lake Maggiore, Italy, May 23, 2021. (Credit: Reuters)

According to the appeal, the ruling of the Family Court in Tel Aviv last week was wrong, because it behaved as if the courts in Italy had already ruled permanently in favor of the Italian aunt, when they only granted her temporary custody until further legal proceedings.

It was further stated in the appeal that the trial court had not heard all the critical evidence to discern what was in Biran’s favor.

In addition, the appeal alleges that the aunt blocked the grandfather from any access to Byrne in the meantime.

Biran is the only survivor of a cable car crash in northern Italy in May. He was brought to Israel illegally from Italy by his Israeli grandfather, according to the court.

The crash killed 14 people, including Eitan’s father, Amit Biran; His mother, Tal Peleg; His one-year-old brother, Tom; And his grandparents, Barbara Cohen Konisky and Itzhak Cohen.

Last week, the trial court found that Byrne has deeper ties and he adapts more with his Italian family and environment than with his family and Israeli environment.

    Aya Biran, Eitan Biran's father's aunt, spoke outside the court in Tel Aviv yesterday.  (Credit: Corina Foundation / Reuters) Aya Biran, Eitan Biran’s father’s aunt, spoke outside the court in Tel Aviv yesterday. (Credit: Corina Foundation / Reuters)

In addition, the court said the grandfather violated the Hague Convention by expelling Biran from Italy without a court ruling.

Technically, the grandfather could still have sought custody through the courts in Italy even if Biran had already returned to Italy, but his chances were considered slim.

Following a hearing on September 23, the trial court ordered joint custody of Eitan Biran between his Israeli-Italian aunt and his Israeli grandfather, pending a trial on the issue that took place on October 8.

Authorities in Italy have in the past imposed Eitan’s custody on his aunt from his father, Aya Biran, who is Amit’s sister and is a doctor who lives with her husband Orr and their two daughters, Eitan’s, in the suburb of Fabia.

Eitan’s family moved to Fabia five years ago so that a colleague could study medicine.

The six-year-old was illegally taken to Israel by his grandfather Shmuel Peleg earlier in September. His father’s relatives are fighting to bring him back to Italy.

Immediately after learning that he was in Israel, Eitan’s aunt filed a petition in an Italian court, where an investigation was opened against Peleg on suspicion of kidnapping.

Peleg’s lawyers in Italy acknowledged that he had taken the boy to Israel, saying he had “acted out of impulse” as he was concerned about his grandson’s health after being excluded from legal proceedings related to Eitan’s custody.

Ethan spent most of his life growing up in Italy, and there are indications that his parents planned to stay there, at least for the immediate future.

But Amit brought the family to Italy so he could attend medical school, and there are also signs that the family planned to return to Israel and raise their children in the Jewish state had it not been for the tragedy that occurred.

Peleg accused Aya of leaving the boy “hostage” and ignoring his Israeli and Jewish identity.

Meanwhile, Peleg hired former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attorney Boaz Ben-Zur and the well-known media strategist Ronen Tzur, who was previously an adviser to Defense Minister Bnei Gantz. Aya Biran hired the president of the Bar Association, Avi Chimi.

The Jerusalem Post team contributed to this report.

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