Israel welcomes ETA ceasefire

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Israel on Monday welcomed Basque separatist group ETA's decision to end armed conflict, saying it hoped the move would serve as "an example to other terror groups."

"The Basque terror group ETA has announced recently that it decided to bid farewell to arms and abandon terror indefinitely," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Israel considers this a positive step that could put an end to violence, while representing an achievement for democracy in its fight against terror.

"Israel hopes that this step serve as an example to other terror groups, and that they, too, abandon the path of terror, which leads only to death and suffering," it said.

"Israel shares the desire and hope of Spanish society to live as a democracy free of any terror threat."

ETA is blamed for the deaths of more than 800 people in its four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings to force the creation of an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France.

On Thursday, ETA announced a "definitive cessation of its armed activity" on the website of Basque newspaper Gara.

© 2011 AFP

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