It shouldnt be too difficult for you to grasp that international laws governing blockades or sieges did not apply to the protection of innocent civilians. And neither were there international laws in place against collective punishment of civilians. There are now. That wasn't too hard was it? So, there were no misconceptions except on your part. When you say there is nothing in international law prohibiting a country from defending its citizens including siege warfare, you are childishly wrong. Of course there are laws governing what a country can and cannot do to protect its citizens. A nation my not mistreat prisoners of war (many many laws governing that), it cannot use chemical weapons, it may not attack doctors, ambulances or hospital ships, it may not rape or torture combatants or noncombatants, it may not steal private possessions, it may not ignore a white flag of surrender and it may not collectively punish civilians. All those act are violations are war crimes.
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Mortar shell fired from Gaza at IDF force operating by the border, no injuries reported (Haaretz)
from the article: Response / Henry Siegman on Burston and 'Israel's pathology'