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Tel Aviv District Police Commander David Tzur on Thursday announced his retirement from the police.

The decision was expected after Tzur was not selected to run for the position of police commissioner.

Tzur made the announcement to police officers under his command while making a toast during an Independence Day ceremony held at district headquarters.

Outgoing police commissioner Moshe Karadi was also present at the ceremony.

Tzur said he intends to leave the police shortly, and that he would wait for the appointment of a new district commander to replace him.

He also thanked Karadi for his cooperation and expressed his best wishes to incoming commissioner David Cohen, who was informed of Tzur's decision to retire upon his appointment as commissioner.

Before his current position, Tzur served as commander of an elite counter-terrorism unit in the Israel Defense Forces, Coastal Plain District Police and Border Police.

During the last round of police appointments, before Karadi was appointed to his position, Tzur was cited as a possible candidate for the commissionership when then prime minister Ariel Sharon expressed interest in his candidacy.

Tzur's prospects of being appointed commissioner were considered diminished, however, by the escape of serial rapist Benny Sela in December.

A Knesset committee investigating the affair later found that Tzur did not bear primary responsibility for the incident.

Tzur has a reputation as an international expert in security and counter-terrorism.

In this capacity, he served as a consultant to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and to other projects. He is believed to be considering a return to such work as a civilian.