Israeli writer and peace advocate Amos Oz dies at 79
December 28 2018 07:10 PM
Amos Oz
Israeli writer Amos Oz listens to a journalist's question during his press conference of the 17th International Book Festival (IBF) in the Millenaris Culture Center of Budapest. File photo taken April 23, 2010


Amos Oz, Israel's best known author and an outspoken supporter of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, died of cancer at the age of 79 on Friday, his daughter said.
Fania Oz-Salzberger said on Twitter that her father had died of cancer and offered thanks to "those who loved him".
Tributes began to pour in for Oz including from Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, who called his death "a loss for us all and for the world".
While the writings of Oz, a passionate peace advocate whose stirring memoir "A Tale of Love and Darkness" became a worldwide bestseller, is widely acclaimed, he is perhaps equally known as one of the earliest and most forceful critics of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.
In recent years, Oz spoke out against the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shunning official Israeli functions abroad in protest at what he called the "growing extremism" of his country's government.
Over a 50-year career, Oz chronicled his country's rise from the ashes of the Holocaust and internal struggles among Jews and Arabs or rightists and leftists. He won international plaudits and was a bookies' favourite for the Nobel Prize for Literature, though his political views sometimes drew condemnation at home.
Born in Jerusalem to Eastern European immigrants, Oz moved to a kibbutz at 15 after his mother's suicide. He fought in the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars, experiences that tinged his advocacy for territorial compromise with the Palestinians.
Among his books was "A Tale of Love and Darkness," a memoir that actress and director Natalie Portman adapted for the screen in 2016.
"It was a tale of love and light, and now, a great darkness," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement eulogising Oz. "Rest in peace, dear Amos. You gave us great pleasure."

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