Helen Thomas

Longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas announced her immediate retirement on Monday following  the controversy stemming from her comments on Israel, according to her employer, Hearst News Service.

Last week, during a White House event, Thomas told a rabbi that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland, according to the Washington Post. Her remarks were caught on tape and quickly spread across the internet.

VIDEO: Legendary White House reporter's Israel gaffe

"I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians," Thomas later said a statement on her website. "They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs condemned Thomas' remarks Monday. "Those remarks were offensive and reprehensible," Gibbs said, noting that her sentiments "do not reflect certainly most of the people here and certainly not those of the administration."

The White House Correspondents Association also called the comments "indefensible," adding that the board "firmly dissociates itself from them."

Following the controversial remarks, Thomas canceled a graduation speech and was dropped by her speaking agency, Nine Speakers.

Thomas, who turns 90 in August, has covered the White House since the end of the Eisenhower administration. The trailblazer was the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman to be an officer of the National Press Club.