A senior Palestinian official has blasted US President Donald Trump's UN envoy, accusing her of carrying out a "crusade" against the Palestinian people.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said on Wednesday that 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 remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 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.

Palestinian 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 criticising senior US officials.

Haley visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in June.

Accusation on UN

Ashrawi said Haley was "compounding the victimisation 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 Palestinian 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 Hebron which declares the West Bank city under threat.

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

Ashrawi said Haley was undermining the chances of peace by "pursuing her own agenda consistent with her anti-Palestinian obsession and as an apologist for Israel".

Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community.

In December, the UN Security Council adopted a landmark resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Source: News agencies