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Revered Israeli writer Amos Oz dies at 79

Renowned Israeli writer Amos Oz, a passionate peace advocate whose stirring memoir "A Tale of Love and Darkness" became a worldwide bestseller, died on Friday aged 79, his daughter said.

Fania Oz-Salzberger said on Twitter that her father had died and offered thanks to "those who loved him".

"My beloved father, Amos Oz, a wonderful family man, an author, a man of peace and moderation, died today peacefully after a short battle with cancer," she wrote.

Tributes poured 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 Oz's writing 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.

Netanyahu on Friday celebrated Oz as "among the greatest writers from the state of Israel".

"Despite our diverging views on numerous issues, I have deeply appreciated his contribution to the Hebrew language and the revival of Hebrew literature," the premier said in a statement released by his office.

Oz was described as a "literary great" by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin.

"A tale of love and light and henceforth, great darkness," he wrote on Twitter.

Published : December 29, 2018

By : Agence France-Presse Jerusalem