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Australian Labor candidate has pulled out after saying the way Israel treated Palestinians was “worse than the South African system of apartheid”.

“I’ve had 20 years’ experience in international relations and law including living and working in the Middle East,” Parke said. “My views are well known. But I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government which will take urgent and strong action on climate change. That’s why I have decided to withdraw my candidacy."