The Israeli government announced on Sunday night that it intends to close the joint office used as a security liaison office between it and the Palestinian Authority (P.A) in Jericho, and informed Palestinian security liaison officers that they must evacuate their joint offices.

The decision includes halting all contacts with the Palestinian security forces except for "cases that include extricating Israelis who have entered Palestinian areas", or to prevent attacks, an Israeli source reported.

Also, Security officials rejected a police request to maintain contact also in order to retrieve stolen vehicles, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

The Israeli decision comes one week after Israeli announced it was ceasing security coordination in the Gaza Strip.

The decision to close the office and sever ties with the P.A was made earlier on Sunday at a special Israeli security cabinet meeting headed by the Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Olmert.

Haaretz added that the decisions made at the meeting will soon be presented to the cabinet for approval.

The security cabinet meeting, headed by Olmert, was attended by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi, as well as Israel Army Chief Dan Halutz, head of the Shin Bet security service Yuval Diskin, head Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yedlin, and several other military officials.

The cabinet decided to halt all contacts with the P.A and would act to undermine the Palestinian Hamas-led government.

Olmert said during the meeting that the P.A is considered a "hostile entity" and that Israel would act in order to prevent Hamas from becoming an established government, Olmert said at the meeting.

Olmert also decided cut all official meetings or maintain contact with any public figures from abroad who meet with Hamas officials.

The Israeli move is a considered a renewal of the boycott Israel imposed on officials who met with the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, when he was surrounding in his Ramallah headquarters in until his sever illness before he was transferred to a military hospital in France shortly before his death.

According to Olmert, Israel views the Palestinians as having two heads (Hamas-led government and the Palestinian President), but would refrain from a "personal disqualification" of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli cabinet ministers also agreed that foreign envoys that meet with Hamas officials would be denied access to Israeli officials.

According to Haaretz, the decisions were partially based on an extensive report prepared by Yosef Mishlav, the coordinator of government activities in the occupied territories. The report details all the channels of contact between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, along with the possible consequences of either maintaining contact or fully cutting ties.

Also, the Israeli government decided that it will allow limited Palestinian transit between the West Bank and Gaza, such as for family visits on Muslim and Christian holidays.