Amazon under fire for ignoring plight of engineer held hostage by Hamas

Sasha Troufanov, a Hamas hostage in Gaza, helped design new software for Amazon.

By World Israel News Staff

Online retail giant Amazon is under fire for not speaking out on the plight of one of the company’s engineers, who was taken captive by the Hamas terror organization on October 7th.

Sasha Troufanov, 28, an Israeli employee of the company, was involved in the design of Amazon’s new Gravitron4 chip, a CPU made by a subsidiary of Amazon Web Services.

The new processor was unveiled by Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky at a conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.

But the company is now under fire from some friends and co-workers of Troufanov, who accuse Amazon of ignoring the electrical engineer’s captivity in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

During the Hamas invasion of October 7th, Troufanov, his girlfriend, his mother, and his grandmother were abducted from his parent’s home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. His father, Vitaly Troufanov, was murdered.

In a gesture to the Russian government, Hamas released Troufanov’s mother, 50-year-old Lena Troufanov, and grandmother, 73-year-old Irena Tati.

Even after a seven-day ceasefire and release of dozens of Israeli civilians, an estimated 141 Israelis remain in Hamas captivity, including Sasha and his girlfriend, Sapir Cohen.

One fellow Amazon employee told The New York Post “It’s bullshit” that the company has not publicly commented on Troufanov’s situation.

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“They say ‘it’s not that we don’t want to [talk about Sasha], it’s that it will hurt him.”

Friends of the captive paid to have trucks with screens bearing Sasha’s face to drive around outside the Las Vegas conference where Amazon unveiled its new processor.

“The inspiration was to say that Sasha is one of them – we tried to make a connection between the people that are coming to the conference and to the humanitarian crisis about the hostages,” Neta Yesood Alon, one of Sasha’s friends, told The Post.

“It’s not something far away, it’s a person who is just like them, who has been kidnapped.”

Alon dismissed Amazon’s claims that it was refusing to acknowledge Troufanov out of concern for his own safety, saying that she and other friends of Troufanov had spoken with former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, who said there would be no danger in the company publicly speaking out.

Alon compared Amazon’s handling of the situation with tech giant Nvidia’s, noting that the latter company has worked closely with the family of Avinatan Or, an employee taken hostage by Hamas.