Campaigners for Palestine have warned the public against giving money to a self-confessed gambling addict who made a high-profile "mercy mission" from Edinburgh to Gaza in a van. Khalil Al Niss, whose trip delivering medicines to the Middle East was backed by first minister Alex Salmond, is at the centre of a range of financial allegations.

He has been isolated by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) and is accused of owing thousands of pounds to different women.

Al Niss, 49, who has also gone by the names "Afaneh", "Kally Fan" and "Carlos", hit the headlines this year when he and his then partner, Linda Willis, drove to Gaza with a van full of life-saving medicines.

The couple started their journey outside the Scottish parliament on July 10 and arrived at the Egyptian border days later.

But the trip hit a snag when they were refused permission to enter Gaza by the Egyptian authorities. The impasse prompted Salmond to contact the Egyptian and Israeli embassies on behalf of the pair, while six Scottish MPs and 26 MSPs also offered support.

However, it has emerged that "delivery driver" Al Niss is facing a number of accusations of financial impropriety.

The SPSC, which helped raise around £1000 for the trip, has warned fellow campaigners about Al Niss in a circular to colleagues.

It accuses Al Niss of "dishonest fundraising" and states: "With great regret, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is writing to warn partners and contacts of the activities of Mr Khalil Al Niss (aka Afaneh) who is presenting himself as a fundraiser on behalf of the people of Gaza."

The email, in the name of SPSC chairman Mick Napier, claims Al Niss "has ignored repeated requests for information on funds raised and transferred to him by people across Scotland and beyond". It alleges that he "refuses to account" for £4000 delivered to him for the Gaza trip and claims that Willis, who is no longer in contact with Al Niss, is out of pocket by "thousands of pounds".

The SPSC has also "read with rising concern" newspaper reports in the Middle East of Al Niss presenting himself "untruthfully" as a lawyer.

A September article in the Gulf Daily News reported how a "lawyer" called Khalil Al Niss, part of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was in Bahrain drumming up support for a "life-saving delivery of medical supplies to Palestine".

The report stated that Al Niss, who this time was with a woman called Janet Legate, was "appealing for donations" so he could drive a double-decker bus packed with supplies from Edinburgh to Palestine.

Al Niss was quoted as saying of his trip: "We will be travelling with many important people such as professors, pilots and Scottish National Party members."

The report concluded: "Anyone who wishes to make a cash donation while Mr Al Niss is in Bahrain can call him on 39326078."

Al Niss's "financial appeal" for the first trip amounted to bank account details in his name being posted on the internet. The web address publicising the campaign, which has no content on it, was registered in the Isle of Man. It is also understood cash for the van trip was raised from mosques in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as from members of the public.

The Dove And The Dolphin, a charity that delivers food to children in Gaza, also funded Al Niss's trip. "We gave two separate amounts of £1000 for taking supplies through Rafah for a hospital in Gaza. I also topped up Khalil's phone for about £300 as he ran out of money," said David Halpin, the charity's founder.

However, Halpin says he does not know what has happened to the medicines: "After Rafah, Linda Willis came back to Edinburgh and Khalil decided to go to Amman in Jordan, where the medicines were supposed to be passed over to a charity. I was supposed to be faxed a receipt by Khalil from the charity in Jordan. I have received no such receipt."

He says the trip was "well-conceived" but he now has concerns about Al Niss: "Khalil has got questions to answer. Let's have the receipts. Also, where are the goods?"

Documents possessed by the Sunday Herald show that Al Niss has had a number of names in recent years. He was known as "Kally Fan" until early last year, when he became Khalil Al Niss, but he has also advertised his services as an Edinburgh removals man called "Carlos". A fourth name, Afaneh, is used by the SPSC.

The Sunday Herald can also reveal that two women unconnected to the Gaza trip have contacted the police about their dealings with Al Niss.

Marjory Lawrie, from Morningside, says she struck up a friendship with Al Niss last October. Within five days, she says Al Niss persuaded her to take out a £13,350 loan for the purpose of buying several vehicles, a claim backed up by official paperwork.

A contract between the pair states that Al Niss agreed to meet the monthly payments, but Lawrie says the loan remains unpaid: "Everything was just a whirlwind. He said he wanted us to have a fantastic life together and set up a business, but that he didn't have any money. We then went to the Bank of Scotland and I took out a personal loan for £13,350.

"He said he would be more than happy to pay it back, which is why there is a letter from the bank with his details on it. We then drew up a contract and the loan payments were supposed to start in January this year. He has never given me one penny of it," she said.

Lawrie added: "I then found documents of his in my flat which showed he had an exact same agreement with a woman in Bristol. I then realised I had been scammed and got the police involved. I have had to re-mortgage my house as a result of all this."

Willis, who declined to talk to the Sunday Herald, is also known to have contacted the police about Al Niss.

Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald, who had initially supported Al Niss as he left Edinburgh for Gaza, said she had been contacted by women who had dealings with him: "He has to be stopped because he is a total rascal who took in a great many people, myself included. I genuinely feel anger and sympathy for the women he has duped. It is also a great pity he has attached his con operation to the Palestinian cause. The fact is that this man is a rogue."

The SPSC's Napier said: "We don't want anyone to give Khalil Al Niss anything. We don't think he is reliable. We want a full account of every penny we raised, with receipts. He is a fantasist."

Napier said the information about Al Niss being a lawyer had come from the man himself: "I spoke to the journalist who wrote the article, and he stands by what he wrote. He said he has a record of the conversation."

He added: "Linda Willis is as honest as the day is long."