- BAGHDAD (IslamOnline.net)
- Iraq's Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has ruled out the return
of Fallujah evacuees to their homes during the coming days, dismissing
statements by the interim government, due to wide scale destruction caused
by the US military campaign that rendered the city "uninhabitable".
- A statement issued Monday, December 20, by the interim
Iraqi government, said that displaced Iraqis will start returning Thursday,
December 23, to Fallujah, which was virtually abandoned by its residents
ahead of last month's massive US assault to regain control of the city
from resistance fighters.
- The statement said that the first batch of citizens would
return to the southwestern neighborhood of Al-Andalus. Fallujah used to
have a population of some 300,000 before the assault.
- "The cabinet today approved the plan for the citizens
of Fallujah to start returning to their city. The return will begin on
Thursday December 23 for residents of Andalus district only," the
- No Living Conditions
- On the ground, the sufferings of Fallujah displaced and
evacuees have critically escalated seven weeks after being forced to leave
their hometown. The sufferings are manifested in severe shortage of foodstuff,
medical requirements and services as well as the freezing cold, featuring
- In an exclusive statement to IslamOnline.net Tuesday
December 21, AMS secretary general, Sheikh Hareth Suliman Al-Dari said,
"Fallujah is completely destroyed and sabotaged. It has become uninhabitable
with no water, electricity or wastewater facilities."
- "The rotten smell of the dead is widespread and
smokes of internationally banned weapons [used by the US occupation] cover
its sky. So, I don't think they will return to it even if the occupation
forces depart. They will probably be back in months or even years,"
- Al-Dari put the blame for the sufferings of Fallujah
people on the occupation troops and the Iraqi government, pointing out
to the shortage of "foodstuff, clothes and shelter."
- Police Measures
- "Fallujah is still under occupation and nobody can
have access there but the US troops," Al-Dari said, pointing out that
"resistance still exists in some neighborhoods."
- On the rumored negotiations between Fallujah wealthy
people and the officials of the interim government on the return of evacuees,
Al-Dari said, "I have no idea about such negotiations. I do not think
any wise man would ask for the return of Fallujah residents under such
- The statement by the interim government was strict on
banning "the carrying or licensing of any weapons inside the Fallujah."
- There was no word, however, on measures declared by the
US military recently on conditions set for the return of Fallujah displaced
to their destroyed homes.
- The set of police state measures were reported early
December by the Boston Globe.
- The measures include funneling Fallujans to so-called
citizen processing centers on the outskirts of the city to compile a database
of their identities through DNA testing and scanning, according to the
- Humanitarian Catastrophe
- To add salt to injury, Fallujah's displaced families
are currently suffering difficult and catastrophic humanitarian circumstances.
- "Medical services are very bad. There are several
inhabitants in Ameriyat Fallujah Hospital who suffer from diseases resulting
from lack of services," Dr. Gamal Nasser, board chairman of Iraqi
Red Crescent Society told IslamOnline.net.
- "Some women suffered abortion and children mortality
increased due to the lack of health care," he added.
- "I volunteered to transport foodstuff, relief and
medical materials donated by some well-offs to the evacuees," Abu
Mohamed, a driver who is assigned to transport aids to the hospital that
received more than 3000 displaced families.
- "The US troops and the Iraqi National Guard hinder
and may prevent the arrival of relief materials provided by the parties
and relief organizations," Abu Mohamed added.
- He pointed out that due to the obstacles imposed by the
occupation, a trip to Baghdad may take three hours, instead of the 50
minutes such a trip usually takes.
- "So, I have to resort to unpaved roads to reach
the Ameriyat Fallujah."
- Thousands of evacuees suffer severe difficulties due
to the impossibility of accommodating them in the camps that have been
established by some charities; a matter that led many of them to gather
- Mosleh Al-Gamily, a secondary school teacher who took
refuge in a camp in Ameriyat Fallujah, said, "I left Fallujah one
day before the US occupation managed to control the town and headed with
my nine-member family to this camp."
- "We receive aids from philanthropists but feel that
the interim government has done nothing to extend a helping hand. No official
visited us, as if the responsibility of the government towards us has come
to an end by destroying the city," he added.
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