Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua (AP/Luca Bruno, File) (AP/Luca Bruno, File)
A.B. Yehoshua

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Giant of Israeli literature to be buried at Kibbutz Ein Carmel on Wednesday.

By Associated Press

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

His death was confirmed by Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center. Hospital spokesman Avi Shushan said Yehoshua succumbed to a battle with esophageal cancer.

Yehoshua will be laid to rest on Wednesday at Kibbutz Ein Carmel, near Haifa.

Abraham B. Yehoshua was born and raised in Jerusalem in 1936. His father was a fifth-generation Jerusalemite of Greek descent while his mother was a Moroccan immigrant.

Yehoshua served as an IDF paratrooper and studied writing and philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem before embarking on his writing career.

Yehoshua’s work was widely translated and adapted to film and stage. His first book, “The Death of the Old Man,” was published in 1962, and his most recent work, a novella entitled “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.

Beyond his oeuvre, Yehoshua was a leading voice of the Israeli peace camp, 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 that 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’s long-time wife, Dr. Rivka Kirsninski, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, died in 2016. He is survived by three children and six grandchildren.

United with Israel staff contributed to this report.