In this May 27, 2010 file photo, Helen Thomas listens to President Barack Obama during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Controversial remarks about Israel by veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas drew sharp criticism from the Obama administration on Monday, as well as the cancellation of a high school graduation speech she was to deliver. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked at his daily briefing with reporters about President Barack Obama's reaction to Thomas' remarks. Gibbs called them "offensive and reprehensible." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Longtime Washington journalist Helen Thomas abruptly retired Monday, according to her employer, Hearst News Service.
The 89-year-old Thomas, dean of the White House press corps and a Winchester, Ky., native, leaves amid a brewing controversy over remarks she made about Israel and Palestinians.
Thomas, known for her confrontational questioning, apologized for comments that were captured on video and have spread widely on the Internet. On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.
The Hearst announcement came shortly after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks "offensive and reprehensible."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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