The custody dispute over Eitan B. is entering the next round.

The six-year-old boy is the only survivor of the cable car accident on Whitsunday on Lake Maggiore, which left 14 dead.

A family court in Tel Aviv ruled on Thursday, after hearing representatives of the orphan's two divided branches of the family, that Eitan should initially remain in Israel until October 8.

Then the trial should continue before the family court.

The boy was brought to Tel Aviv on September 11th by his maternal grandfather from Pavia in northern Italy. The boy's relatives in Italy around his paternal aunt Aya B. accuse grandfather Shmulik P. of kidnapping Eitan to Israel. The grandfather, who lives in Israel, had agreed with Aya B. during a stay in Italy to bring Eitan back to Pavia after a day trip. Instead, he had himself driven to Lugano, Switzerland, in order to fly from there to Tel Aviv in a private plane with Eitan.

Eitan had lost his father, mother, two-year-old brother and his maternal great-grandparents when the cable car gondola crashed after the pulling rope broke on May 23. The boy was seriously injured in the accident. Since he was released from hospital on June 10, Eitan had lived with his father's sister in northern Italy. Eitan's paternal aunt Aya and her husband Ore B. have children of their own who are about as old as Eitan. A family judge in Pavia had taken custody of Eitan Aya B. Eitan's maternal grandparents Shmulik and Esther P. are contesting this decision. After returning to Israel, Shmulik P. said that he had lost confidence in the Italian authorities and that he had therefore decided to bring Eitan to Tel Aviv on his own. Shmulik P.was still in possession of his grandson's passport, although he should have handed it in according to the decision of the court in Pavia. The Public Prosecutor's Office in Pavia is investigating Shmulik P. for kidnapping.

Aya B. traveled to Tel Aviv for the court hearing. Apart from her and Eitan's grandfather Shmulik P., no other relatives of the boy were admitted to the court hearing on Thursday. According to the Italian news agency, judicial circles said that until the next court hearing, Eitan would spend half of the time with the relatives on his mother's side living in Israel, the other half with his aunt Aya B. and her husband Ore, who had come from Italy.

Ore B. had expressed the suspicion to the Italian media that the custody dispute was also about the considerable inheritance of Eitan's maternal great-grandparents, who also died on May 23.

Shmulik P. denied the allegations and asserted that his grandson had been held hostage in Italy.

The diplomatic representatives of the two states are also trying to find a solution to the dispute.

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