Custody battle over a 6-year-old child who survived an Italian cable crash


Rome — The 6-year-old boy, who was the only survivor of a cable car crash in northern Italy this year, is at the center of a fierce custody battle between his grandparents of an Israeli mother and relatives of an Italian father. They were sent to Israel on the weekends without their permission.

When the cable car crashed into the hillside on May 23, after the cable broke, 14 people died, including Eitambilan’s parents and young siblings. After the boy was released from Turin Hospital weeks after treatment for serious injuries, Italian juvenile court officials ruled that the child could live with his paternal aunt near Pavia in northern Italy. However, his aunt Aya Bilan told reporters on Sunday that the day before, Eitan’s maternal grandfather took the boy on an agreed day visit and flew him to Israel without permission.

She said the boy had been on both physiotherapy and psychotherapy since he was discharged and was scheduled to undergo follow-up medical visits, including Turin, this week.

“His bed was empty and toys and clothes were left behind. His new desk, school backpack, notebook, pencil case, and books were ready for the first day of class on Monday,” she said. Said.

The aunt claimed that the boy agreed to return by dinner when his maternal grandfather picked him up for an arranged visit on Saturday morning. But after Eitan didn’t come back, his aunt submitted a police report Saturday night, an Italian news report said.

The maternal grandfather was not immediately asked for comment. However, Eitan’s late mother’s sister denied that the boy had been robbed of Italy.

“We didn’t kidnap Eitan,” Galipereg told Israeli radio station 103FM. “We don’t use that word. What happened was that we brought Eitan home.”

Galipereg did not say exactly where the boy was. It was just that he arrived on Saturday. “We care about his emotional condition and health.”

In Italy, Aya Bilan told reporters that the boy was an Italian citizen and had lived with his parents since he was a toddler in Italy before the accident. It was not possible to immediately confirm whether the child also had Israeli citizenship, but he reportedly had an Israeli passport.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately comment on the case.

The Israeli aunt told the radio station that the boy “screamed with excitement when he saw us.” He said, “I’m finally in Israel.” The aunt added, “All we did was for boys.”

Pavia’s prosecutor’s office was closed on Sunday, and investigators could not immediately get comments on Italian news reports that they were considering starting an investigation into the case.

“I am confident and hopeful,” Aya Vilan told reporters that Israeli and Italian authorities would work “to ensure his return” to Italy.

The Colliere de la Serra newspaper said that the paternal uncle, or Nirco, had a boy’s Israeli passport and gave it to his paternal relatives despite an Italian court order to do so by August 30. I quoted that I said on Saturday that I didn’t give it. The boy’s maternal grandparents allegedly claimed that if he had stayed in Italy, “Eitan would have grown up regardless of his (Israeli) identity.”

According to paternal relatives, the maternal family has challenged a custody arrangement in an Italian court that would allow Eitan to live with Vilan, a doctor with his own children.

By Frances D’emilio

Associated Press