Aya Biran

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Aya Biran
Born Israel
Nationality Israel
Other names Aya Biran-Nirko
Known for won custody of her nephew, when her brother and sister-in-law died in a tragic accident

Aya Biran is an Israeli doctor, living in Italy, who found herself at the heart of a controversy, when her brother, and sister-in-law died in a tragic accident, in May 2021, and an Italian court awarded her custody of her five-year-old nephew, Eitan Biran.[1] Eitan was the sole survivor of the cable car disaster that killed his parents, baby brother, and two of his great-grandparents.

Eitan's maternal grandfather, Schmulik Peleg, and maternal aunt, Gali Peleg, challenged her custody of Eitan.[2] Further, when Schmulik had a scheduled excursion with Eitan he defied an Italian court order, and took him out of Italy. He drove him to Switzerland, and then flew him to Israel, where he asked an Israeli court to award custody to his side of the family.

An Israeli court did consider the issue of custody of the boy.[3] and supported the Italian court, and ordered him to be returned to Aya. It further ordered Schmulik to pay Aya's legal expenses.

Aya and her husband, Or Nirko, have two daughters.



  1. Elisabetta Povoledo; Jonathan Shamir (2021-09-13). "Lone Survivor of Italian Cable Car Crash Is Subject of Custody Battle". The New York Times (Rome, Italy). Archived from the original on 2021-10-26. https://web.archive.org/web/20211026101742/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/13/world/europe/italy-israel-custody-cable-car.html. Retrieved 2021-10-31. "Aya Biran, an aunt who lives near Pavia, a town in northern Italy, was granted custody of the child by a court in Turin in May, while he was still in the hospital with critical injuries." 
  2. "Tragedia Mottarone, zia Eitan presenta istanza a Tel Aviv. Il nonno ai domiciliari in Israele" (in Italian). La Presse. 2021-09-14. Archived from the original on 2021-10-08. https://web.archive.org/web/20211008112007/https://www.lapresse.it/esteri/2021/09/14/mottarone-zio-eitan-detenuto/. Retrieved 2021-10-31. "E’ agli arresti domiciliari, in Israele, Schmulik Peleg, il nonno di Eitan Biran, l’unico sopravvissuto a un incidente in funivia in Italia a maggio, per le accuse di aver rapito Eitan e portato in Israele." 
  3. "Aunt of Italy cable car crash child survivor arrives in Israel ahead of hearing". Times of Israel. 2021-09-19. Archived from the original on 2021-09-22. https://web.archive.org/web/20210922192339/https://www.timesofisrael.com/aunt-of-italy-cable-car-crash-child-survivor-arrives-in-israel-ahead-of-hearing/. Retrieved 2021-10-31. "The aunt additionally said she is 'disturbed by the reports about Eitan’s psychological and mental condition and what is being done to him by his kidnappers while he is in their hands.'" 
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