Cable car disaster victims
Cable car disaster victims Reuters

Eitan Biran's paternal family, which lives in Italy, is expected to submit Tuesday a formal request to the Tel Aviv Family Court that Eitan be returned to Italy.

The Israeli court will be the one to decide on the matter.

On Saturday, Eitan's maternal grandfather visited him in Italy, and the pair boarded a flight to Israel.

Gali Peleg, sister of Eitan's mother Tal, told 103FM Radio earlier this week, "We did not kidnap Eitan. No one should be using such a word. All we did was return him home – and we were forced to do that, because we had no other way of ensuring his physical and emotional health."

"We brought Eitan back to his home, as his parents would have wanted. My sister and her husband only traveled to Italy for their studies and they were planning to return this year. It was only because of the coronavirus that they postponed their return. Half a year ago they were in Israel for a few months and we spoke to them about returning home. Amit was registered to begin studying at Ariel University, and they had won a subsidized apartment in the state lottery and were weighing their options."

Eitan's grandmother, Etty Peleg, told 103 FM, "Eitan is our world and we want to know that he is okay. That's all that interests us. The child is very happy that he returned to Israel. He didn't even know the family in Italy. There was no connection at all between the families. But I'm taking care of him now, obviously, because I'm the grandmother, I'm Tal's mother. I'm taking care of Eitan."

In May, Eitan, now 6, lost his parents and younger brother in a cable car crash in Italy.

A total of fourteen people died in the crash, including Eitan's father, Amit Biran, 30; his mother, Tal Peleg-Biran, 26; his 2-year-old brother, Tom; and Tal's grandparents, Barbaria Cohen, 71, and Yitzhak Cohen, 81. Eitan himself was the only survivor of the crash.

A spokesperson for the Regina Margherita Children's Hospital in Turin, Italy, said Eitan survived because his father pulled him into a tight embrace when he realized they were falling.