On 3 January 2009, Laila and her family were victims of Israel’s Cast Lead offensive. Fearing for their lives, Laila and her family fled to her brother’s house. Her husband and three of her children were killed. After recovering from her injuries she and her four surviving daughters, together with her stepson, bought a flat from one of her late husband’s relatives, using money received from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the local authorities. The flat was registered in the name of her late husband’s heirs. Laila ́s stepson developed a drug addiction and his violence towards her and her daughters forced them to leave. The stepson subsequently sold the property without consulting Laila.
Today, Laila and her four daughters live in a cramped 70 square-metre concrete apartment above her brother’s house, a two-floor building shared by her two brothers and their 16 family members. Laila does not feel safe or have any privacy. Her situation is not in accordance with the customs and traditions of Palestinian society. She feels she and her daughters are a burden on her brothers. Lawyers from NRC are in discussions with the authorities about providing a separate housing unit for Laila and her children.