Nikki Haley
Nikki HaleyReuters

A senior Palestinian Authority official on Wednesday blasted US President Donald Trump's United Nations envoy, accusing her of carrying out a "crusade against the Palestinian people."

Hanan Ashrawi, an senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said Nikki Haley was leading a "one-woman crusade ... against Palestine and the Palestinian people individually and collectively."

"Through an obsessive and targeted campaign of intimidation and threats, Miss Haley's crusade does not miss an opportunity to put pressure on anyone that seeks to challenge Israeli impunity," she added.

Ashrawi said Haley was echoing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon defended Haley's work.

"Small wonder Hanan Ashrawi is unhappy - @nikkihaley fights for a fair treatment of #Israel, exactly what the #Palestinians don't want...," he wrote on Twitter.

PA officials have privately expressed increasing alarm at the Trump administration's pro-Israel stance as the US president seeks to restart peace negotiations.

However until Wednesday they had publicly refrained from criticizing senior US officials.

Haley visited Israel in June.

Ashrawi said Haley was "compounding the victimization of the Palestinian people and browbeating the institutions that are meant to defend their rights".

The statement was distributed by the PLO.

Since being nominated by Trump after his November victory, Haley has consistently accused the United Nations of systematic bias against Israel.

The US vetoed the appointment of a former PA prime minister as UN envoy to Libya, while Haley has called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to intervene to block a forthcoming vote on the city of Hevron which declares the ancient Jewish city under threat from Israel.

Trump came to office seeking to pursue what he has called the "ultimate deal" and has pledged to restart negotiations between Israeli and PA leaders.

But Arab media reports claim talks between the PA leadership and Trump and his team -- including his son-in-law Jared Kushner -- have been fractious, allegations denied by the PA.