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A.B. Yehoshua, Israeli author and veteran peace activist, dies at 85

Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua
A Tel Aviv hospital Tuesday confirmed the death of 85-year-old Israeli novelist and peace activist A.B. Yehoshua.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

A.B. Yehoshua, a prominent Israeli author celebrated for his mastery of the Hebrew language and a leading peace activist, died Tuesday. He was 85.

His death was confirmed by a Tel Aviv hospital, which did not disclose the cause.

Abraham B. Yehoshua was born in Jerusalem in 1936. His work was widely translated and adapted for film and stage. His first book, “The Death of the Old Man,” was published in 1962, and his most recent work, a novella titled “The Third Temple,” was published earlier this year. His other works include “The Lover,” “A Late Divorce” and “Mr. Mani.”

His writing won numerous literary awards, including the Israel Prize in Literature in 1995.

The Israeli government has failed to pass a bill extending legal protections for settlers in the occupied West Bank.

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Beyond his literary oeuvre, Yehoshua was a leading voice of the Israeli peace movement, joining fellow authors Amoz Oz and David Grossman in calling for a negotiated solution to the conflict with the Palestinians that would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Yehoshua was “one of the great writers and storytellers of the state of Israel” whose “unforgettable creations will continue to accompany us for generations.”

Tamar Zandberg, a government minister with the dovish Meretz party, wrote on Twitter that Yehoshua “also took upon himself the significant moral role of championing peace and justice.”

Yehoshua will be buried Wednesday at a kibbutz in northern Israel.


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