The parents and brother of Dr. Dimitry Kozlov, who was killed in the Carmel fire, will be given permanent resident status in line with their request, Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced on Thursday.
The parents said they made the request because they want to stay in Israel to help their son's widow, Yelena, care for their grandson.
Kozlov, 45, served as a dentist at the Ketziot Prison. He immigrated to Israel with his wife, who was entitled to come here under the Law of Return, in 1997. They lived in Be'er Sheva, and their son was born in 1998.
Kozlov's brother, Nicolai, was already in the process of becoming a permanent resident, as he has an Israeli spouse. But Yishai's decision will shorten the process.
"Dimitry's parents, Yuri and Larisa, were very happy with the minister's decision, about which they learned while in Ukraine, as they had to leave the country on Wednesday," said Dina Sakin, a colleague of Kozlov who is assisting the family on behalf of the Prison Service.
"They are elderly and experienced a terrible event, and when they came to Israel they realized that things are not easy," Sakin said. "So they are determined to help the widow and their grandson deal with the loss."
The ceremony at which the family will be given their identity cards is scheduled to take place next week.
In recent years, the Interior Ministry has often granted permanent residency to people who are not technically eligible in the wake of disasters. For example, immediate family members of victims of the Dolphinarium terrorist attack in 2001 were granted permanent residency, as was Sandra Samuel, the nanny who protected Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg's son during the terrorist attack on Mumbai's Chabad House.
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