Israel has many friends in the fight against the International Criminal Court’s attempt to turn Israel’s existence into a war crime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, thanking the seven countries he said filed amicus briefs to the court in support of Israel.“The International Court in The Hague turned into a political device against Israel,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a cabinet meeting on Sunday. “At the moment, it is trying to turn the fact of our existence in our homeland into a war crime. We are fighting it, and by our side, I must say, are many friends in the world.”Netanyahu thanked Germany, Australia, Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Uganda for joining the US in recent days in arguing that the ICC does not have the authority to prosecute Israel. “They are trying to prevent the ugly politicization of the international court, but unfortunately, it’s already there. The fact that many countries stood by us and the US is a fact that should encourage all friends of Israel around the world and all citizens of Israel,” he added.The prime minister said he worked together with the National Security Council and Foreign Ministry to get these countries to come out strongly against the ICC chief prosecutor’s push to put Israel on trial.Friday was the deadline for countries and organizations to petition the ICC to be allowed to state their position on whether the court has the jurisdiction to rule on alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinians. Part of the jurisdictional ruling would be considering whether the Palestinians can legally be considered a state.Germany wrote to the court “that a Palestinian state and the determination of territorial boundaries can be achieved only through direct negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians,” drawing a distinction between upgrades to the Palestinian Authority’s status in the UN and legal status as a state. If the ICC does adjudicate war crime lawsuits against Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, his primary rival for the premiership, would be targeted.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.