Revered Israeli writer Amos Oz dies at 79

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) – 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 (Dec 28), his daughter said.

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 bookmakers’ favourite for the Nobel Prize for Literature, though his political views sometimes drew condemnation at home.

“To those who loved him, thank you,” his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger said in a Twitter post announcing his death.

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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