Famed liberal Israeli writer Amos Oz dies aged 79

Famed liberal Israeli writer Amos Oz dies aged 79
One of Israel's best-loved writers Amoz Oz has died aged 79.
2 min read
29 December, 2018
Amos Oz supported a Palestinian state [Getty]

Famed Israeli writer Amos Oz, known for his passionate advocacy for peace with Palestinians, has died aged 79, his daughter said on Friday.

Oz was known for his stirring memoir, "A Tale of Love and Darkness", and was of the most celebrated authors in Hebrew literature.

His daughter, 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.

Among those paying tributes to the writer was Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, who called his death "a loss for us all and for the world".

Oz was a vocal opponent of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands captured in the Six-Day War of 1967 and strongly advocated for a two-state solution with Palestinians.

He was a leading figure in the Israeli left-liberal Peace Now movement, which advocates a two-state solution and an end to Israeli occupation and settlement expansion.

PLO Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi described Oz as one of Israel's "critical & courageous voices who variously maintained their moral stature & formed the conscience of a currently unrepentant Israel", according to Haaretz.

Other Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists described Oz as an apologist for Israeli military actions, who opposed the return of Palestinians to their homes they fled or were expelled from since the formation of Israel in 1948.

Oz had also been critical of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shunning official Israeli functions abroad over the "growing extremism" of his country's government.

Despite this 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.

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

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