Israeli court upholds ruling in kidnapping case

An Israeli court has upheld a ruling to return six-year-old Eitan Biran to Italy, Israel's Justice Ministry said Thursday, after he was kidnapped earlier this year.

Biran was the sole survivor of a cable car disaster in northern Italy in May, which killed his parents, younger brother and 11 other people.

He was living with his paternal aunt in Italy when his maternal grandfather visited in September, and took him to Israel without consent.

Biran's aunt petitioned a Tel Aviv family court to return him to Italy, kicking off a cross-border custody battle.

The court found that his grandfather's actions amounted to kidnapping under the Hague Convention on the return of abducted children.

The grandfather later appealed the ruling to a Tel Aviv district court, which ultimately upheld the family court's decision.

The court has held off implementing the order for a week in order to enable his grandfather to appeal to Israel's Supreme Court, adding that he should still be allowed to meet with his grandson even in Italy.

Lawyers for the grandfather say they will consider appealing to the Supreme Court after studying the ruling.

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