Orcid: 0000-0002-9956-0491​

​Dr. Havatzelet Yahel is a Lecturer at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel & Zionism at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 2015-2017, she served as a Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Ben-Gurion Institute, and as a research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yahel received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her doctoral dissertation in historical geography is titled "The Policy of the Israeli Government and State Authorities Regarding the Negev Bedouin: 1947 – 1989". She completed her MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government after receiving the Israel Wexner Fellowship for excellence in the public sector. She holds a BA in Economy and an LLB in Law from Tel-Aviv University.

Before joining The Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel & Zionism, Yahel was the Deputy to the Southern District Attorney (Civil Matters) at the Ministry of Justice in Israel. She also was the founder and director of the Land Department. As a lawyer and litigator, she represented the State of Israel in high profile court cases and served as a member in many policy-making forums in her field. In addition, Yahel was nominated as an advisor to the Goldberg Commission whose mission was to present a solution to the land and settlement conflicts between the State and the Negev Bedouins.

Yahel is a member of the Israeli Bar Association; a board member of the International Committee of Regional Museums (ICOM) and editor of its newsletter; the Head of the Steering Committee for the establishment of a Cultural Heritage Center for the Galilee Bedouin; founder and board member of Hagshama Initiative for the Empowerment of Shibli-Um el-Ganem Bedouin Villages in the Galilee.

Yahel's diverse academic and professional background is reflected in her interdisciplinary and comparative research approach and publications.


Research Fields:

» Legal History

» Historical Geography

» Public policy

» Land Regimes, Laws and Policies

» Space and Settlements of Minorities and Peripheral Communities

» Indigenous Communities

» Jewish Indigeneity and Zionism

» Bedouin of the Negev


Selected publications:

1.Havatzelet Yahel. 2024. The Tribal Challenge: Alliances and Confrontations in the Israeli Negev, Indiana University Press.

2.חבצלת יהל ואמיר גלילי. בדואי הנגב: שבטיות, פוליטיקה וביקורת. 2023. אוניברסיטת חיפה – מוסד הרצל  (Bedouin of the Negev: tribalism, politics and critics).

3.Havatzelet Yahel, Governability in the Negev. 2023. Strategic Assessment 26(1): 67-86. (נוסח בעברית: משילות בנגב? עדכן אסטרטגי).

4.Havatzelet Yahel. 2022. The Jewish People and Indigenous Resilience. Editors David Danto and Masood Zangeneh. Global Indigenous Mental Health. Springer, Pp. 145-165.

5.Emir Galilee, Havatzelet Yahel, and Gal Oren. 2022. "Our forest-our home": leisure and tourism among Bedouin minority in southern Israel. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change 21(2): 133-147.

6.Noga Raved and Havatzelet Yahel. 2022. Changing Times - A Time for Change: Museums in the COVID-19 Era. Museum Worlds 10: 145-158.

7.אמיר גלילי, חבצלת יהל וגל אורן. 2021. דפוסי הפנאי של האוכלוסיה הבדווית בנגב: יער להב כמקרה מבחן. אקולוגיה וסביבה 12(2) (Leisure Patterns of Negev Bedouin: The Lahav Forest as a case study).

8.​חבצלת יהל. 2021. תכנון יישובים לבדואים בנגב בשלושת העשורים הראשונים להקמת מדינת ישראל. אופקים בגיאוגרפיה 99: 163 – 185 (Settlement Planning for the Negev Bedouin in the First Three Decades of Israel).

9.Havatzelet Yahel, Rachel Katoshevski, and Emir Galilee. 2021. National Hiking Trails: Regularization, Statutory Planning and Legislation. Land Use Policy 108.

10.Havatzelet Yahel and Atef Abu-Ajaj. 2021. Tribalism, Religion, and the State in Bedouin society - between conservation and change. Strategic Assessment 24(2): 54-71 (נוסח בעברית: שבטיות, דת ומדינה בחברה הבדואית בנגב: בין שימור לשינוי. עדכן אסטרטגי).

11.Havatzelet Yahel. 2021. Rural or Urban? Planning Bedouin Settlements. Middle Eastern Studies 57(4): 606-624.

12.Havatzelet Yahel. 2021. The Negev Bedouin as a De-Legitimization Tool. Israel Affairs 27(1): 121-143. DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1864853.

13.  Havatzelet Yahel. 2021. Israel and International Law: The Indigenous Concept in Supreme Court Rulings. Israel Studies 26(1): 172-195.

  1. חבצלת יהל. 2019. מגילת העצמאות ושיח העמים הילידים. מגילת העצמאות – תלמוד ישראלי. בינה וידיעות. עמ' 80 -81.  (Declaration of Independence and the Indigenous Discourse).

15.Havatzelet Yahel. 2019. The Conflict over Land Ownership and Unauthorized Construction in the Negev. Contemporary Review of the Middle East 6(3-4): 352-369.

16.חבצלת יהל. 2018. הצעות ליישוב הבדווים בימי טרום וראשית מדינת ישראל: 1949-1948. ישראל 25: 1 - 29 (Bedouin Settlement Proposals in Pre and Early Days of the State of Israel).

17.Havatzelet Yahel, Ruth Kark and Noam Perri. 2018. Multiculturalism and Ethnographic Museums in Israel: The Case of a Regional Bedouin Museum. Editors Stanko Pelc and Miha Koderman. Nature, Tourism and Ethnicity as Drivers of (De)Marginalization. Springer. Cham. Pp. 179-199. 

18.Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kark. 2017. Land and Settlement of Israel's Negev Bedouin: Official (Ad-Hoc) Steering Committees, 1948–1980. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 44. 3: 1-26.

19.חבצלת יהל. 2017. "לפנים משורת הדין": המהלכים לגיבוש פשרה בתביעות הבעלות של הבדווים בשנות השבעים. עיונים בתקומת ישראל 38: 84 – 127. (Beyond the Letter of the Law: Process to Formulate a Compromise in the Negev Bedouin Ownership Claims in the 1970s).

20.חבצלת יהל. 2017. לא חוקי אך משתלם: הקצאת מגרשים בנגב למשפחות פוליגמיות. תכנון 13: 204 – 211 (Illegal but Pay Up: the allocation of plots of land in the Negev to polygamous families).

21.חבצלת יהל. 2017. הוויכוח הקרקעי בין בדואי הנגב ומדינת ישראל. היער 17: 54 – 66. (The Bedouin and the State of Israel: The Conflict over the Negev Lands).

22.Havatzelet Yahel, Ruth Kark and Seth J. Frantzman. 2017. Negev Bedouin and Indigenous People: A Comparative Review. Editors Raghubir Chand, Etienne Nel and Stanko Pelc. Societies, globalization, and marginalization: Marginal Regions in the 21st Century. Springer. Cham. Pp. 121-144.

23.חבצלת יהל ורות קרק. 2016. יישובם מחדש של בדווי הנגב במסגרת הסכם השלום עם מצרים. אופקים בגיאוגרפיה 90: 64 – 91 (The Resettlement of the Negev Bedouin as Part of the Peace Treaty with Egypt).

24.Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kark. 2016. Reasoning from History: Israel's 'Peace Law' and the Resettlement of Tel Malhata Bedouin. Israel Studies 21(2): 102-132.

25.Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kar. 2015. Israel Negev Bedouin during the 1948 War: Departure and Return. Israel Affairs 21(1): 48-97.

26.Havatzelet Yahel. 2015. Indigenous People and Demography: The Complex Relation Between Identity and Statistics. Review. Geography Research Forum 35: 153-155.

27.חבצלת יהל ורות קרק. 2013. האם הבדואים בנגב הם התושבים המקוריים – עם יליד? אופקים בגיאוגרפיה 84, 73 – 87. (Are the Negev Bedouin the Original Inhabitance - an Indigenous People?).

28.​Seth J. Frantzman, Havatzelet Yahel, Ruth Kark. 2012. Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel. Israel Studies 17(1): 78-104.

29.חבצלת יהל. 2012. פסיקות חדשות של בית המשפט המחוזי בתביעות הבעלות של הבדווים. רשימות בנושא הבדואים 41: 7 - 17. (Bedouin Land Ownership Claims - New Rulings).

30.Havatzelet Yahel, Ruth Kark and Seth J. Frantzman. 2012. Are the Negev Bedouin an Indigenous People? Middle East Quarterly 19(7): 3-14.

31.Havatzelet Yahel and Cemelli de Aztlan. 2007. Legal Infrastructure for Nation Building: A Resource for Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribal Leaders. HUNAP Project. Harvard University. Cambridge.

32.חבצלת יהל. 2006. הסדרת מקרקעין בנגב. רשימות בנושא הבדואים 38: 45 – 60 (Land Settlement in the Negev).

33.  Havatzelet Yahel. 2006. Land Disputes between the Negev Bedouin and Israel. Israel Studies 11(2): 1-22.​

​Selected Courses Taught:

  • » Israel's Policy towards the Negev Bedouin, Master's, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

  • » The Legal System in Israel, Bachelor's, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

  • » Historical Geography in Israel

  • » The Negev Bedouin: Land and Settlement, Bachelor's, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

    • »​ Development and Settlement in the Negev, BA, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev​