Israel's prime minister says the memory of the late Nobel laureate, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will be "enshrined in our hearts and in the heart of humanity forever."

Benjamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday with an appreciation of Wiesel as one of the "giants of the Jewish people."

Wiesel died Saturday in New York at the age of 87. Although he was an American citizen who never resided in Israel, news of his death sparked an outpouring of grief among Israelis who consider him one of their own. His death topped newscasts in Israel and all the country's leaders issued messages of condolences.

Wiesel was vice chairman of the council of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. He was previously offered to serve as Israel's ceremonial president.