A Glasgow student is driving an ambulance almost 3,000 miles to Gaza to help civilians affected by the war. 

Umran Ali Javaid bought the ambulance in January and has just received approval to set off for the Rafah border and hand it over to a UN humanitarian agency there. 

The masters student has previously delivered 40 second-hand ambulances to various war zones including driving to a small hospital in Ukraine in September 2023. 

Read more: Children join Glasgow protest for ceasefire in Gaza

He said: "During war innocent civilians, especially children, need help and the ambulance can transport those that are injured and infants as it is equipped with a neo-natal ventilator."

Umran plans to drive from Glasgow next week and catch a ferry from Dover to France, travelling through Europe into Turkey and then getting a ship to Al Arish port in Egypt where he will drive to the Rafah border.

The Herald: Umran will make the 3,000 mile voyage to Rafah via roads and ferryUmran will make the 3,000 mile voyage to Rafah via roads and ferry (Image: Umran Ali Javaid)

He has used the route before the current Israel-Hamas war to get aid into Gaza.

Umran said: "Innocent civilians are always the first to be impacted by the horrors of war. It's heartbreaking to see what is going on in the region.
"British ambulances are really well-quipped to help patients needing immediate medical support and right now hospitals and aid agencies need a lot of help to assist civilians.
"That said, one ambulance can only help a few hundred people in the coming months which is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed."

At the Rafah border, Umran will deliver the ambulance to UN agency UNRWA, which is the largest humanitarian organisation working inside Gaza. 

Read more: Humza Yousaf Gaza aid row, explained in five minutes

Various paperwork had to be submitted before the ambulance could cross the border into Gaza, including from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in Israel, and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The student welcomed the news of a new shipping route starting soon from Cyprus to Gaza to help bring in humanitarian aid.

More than 30,000 people are reported to have been killed in Gaza since conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas on October 7. 

The war began when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people - including children -  and taking hundreds hostage.

In response, Israel launched a massive military campaign on Gaza, including air strikes and a ground invasion. 

Around 2 million people are reported to have been displaced by the conflict, with Palestinians now facing famine and the spread of disease due to a scarcity of aid and access to medical care.