In Italy it was reported that Gabriel Abutbul Alon was arrested in Limassol following his cellphone location. Two weeks ago, a court in Italy issued an international arrest warrant against him and his grandfather, Shmuel Peleg, on suspicion of kidnapping the only survivor of the cable car disaster in Israel.
The alleged accomplice in bringing the only survivor of the cable car disaster to Israel was arrested in Cyprus: Two weeks after an Italian court issued an international arrest warrant against grandfather Shmuel Peleg and Gabriel Abutbul Alon on suspicion of kidnapping the boy Eitan, Abutbul Alon was arrested in Limassol. According to Italian media reports, Alon was located in Limassol following his cell phone location – thanks to cooperation between Italy and Cyprus.
Alon’s part in the affair was not known until this month, and was only revealed when the arrest warrant was issued against the two. According to the claimant in Italy, Alon helped Peleg drive Eitan from Fabia in Italy to Lugano in Switzerland. In his Facebook account, Alon previously uploaded a selfie with an AEROWEST plane, with which Peleg and Biran flew back to Israel. Alon is an Israeli businessman living in Cyprus, and owns at least one company on the neighboring island.
The Italian court in Fabia has issued an arrest warrant against Peleg and Alon demanding that they be extradited to Italy as soon as they are arrested. Italian judges noted that “the criminal plan included prior intent and strict organization by the suspects.” Peleg and Alon drove the 6-year-old boy from Italy to Switzerland on September 11. From there, they flew him to Tel Aviv in a private plane for which they paid 42,000 euros.
Peleg traveled with Eitan to the border between Italy and Switzerland, where – on a private plane he had rented ahead of time – he flew with him to Israel. Eitan’s aunt, Aya Biran, waited for Eitan’s return from the meeting with his grandfather at 18:30 as agreed – and only at 20:00 did she receive a message from her grandfather that Eitan had “come home”. Three days later, Aunt Aya filed a lawsuit for the abduction of a child under the Hague Convention in Israeli court.
Last month, the Tel Aviv Family Court ruled that Biran should be returned to Italy. The verdict, in which Eitan is referred to as “the minor” and whose name is not mentioned, states that he will be returned “to his usual place of residence in Italy”. In addition, the judge ordered the defendant, Grandpa Peleg, to pay expenses and attorney’s fees in the amount of NIS 70,000.
The cable car disaster occurred in May 2021, when a torn cable led to the fall of a caravan – and the deaths of 14 people, including Eitan’s parents, Amit and Tal, and his two-year-old brother Tom. Tal’s grandfather, Yitzhak (Izzy) Cohen (81) and his second wife, Barbara Koninsky Cohen (71), were also killed in the accident. Eitan, the only survivor of the disaster, was fatally wounded and a few days later in hospital rehabilitation he was released.