I think the Palestinians are trying to reinvent Arafat.
He might have an elevated status amongst most Palestinians but he didn't become a major part of the Palestinian ethos due to the circumstances of his death which were anything but heroic.
I clearly remember the wild rumors serrounding his death which clearly stated that it was a "Zionist plot" in the first year after it happend and how eventually those died down.
I find it quite ridiculous that the Palestinians are, literally, digging this up again after 8 years. Of course the claim that the 'Arab Spring' was the inspiration that pushed this issue forward has already been raised.