the foot of Mount Qomolangma. A solar-based house newly built in her village, 40 kilometers away from the base camp of the mountain, however, is poised to prov▓ide a new way of living by reducing local residents' dependency on cattle dung for warmth on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Every year, Yuzhen's eight
-member ▓family burns 300 sacks, or 2,000 kilograms, ▓of dried cattle dung.
Half of them are bought from others or at the market. Sometimes, they collect wood or turf to supplement energy s▓upplies, but the amount is quickly decreasing due to the deteriorating surroundings. Sandsto▓rms, for example, are more frequently seen than before in Yu▓zhen's village, even in the weather-favor
▓able summer. Cattle dung is a cheap option, but it contributes to pollutio
n and is not very efficient. "In winter, the inside temperature drops to below four d▓egrees centigrade at midnight," Yuzhen said. Israel has briefly eased its tight blockade of the Gaza Strip to ship in t▓housands of cattle ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Eid al-Adha, which literally means "the fest
ival of the sacrifice", will be celebrated later this month.Beef is the ce
ntral food to the traditional Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.But the price is now very high in Gaza.Khamees Shameya, Resident of Gaz▓a, said, "We used to come to the butche▓r asking how much the meat costs. He used to answer 20 shek▓els. That's a bit over five US dollars. So we bought three or four kilograms. B
ut today it's 60 shekels a kilo. So we can only buy 250 grams."The price hik
e is attributed to Israel's blockade. It was imposed on the coast▓al territory after Hamas seized power there in ▓June, 2007.Generally, only humanitarian aid and limited commercial goods are allowed in.Israeli farmers have not been able to ▓export their cattle to Gaza for the past few years.Farmers welcome
d the government's decision t▓o briefly ease the blockade and allow cattle to
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be shipped in for the Muslim holiday.Tziki Kimmelman, Israeli Far