During World War II it was the site of a brief skirmish in late 1942 when some of Erwin Rommel's retreating forces ran out of fuel. At the time Nofaliya was home to small fort and a few Italian buildings in addition to a mosque, some shops and a school.
In February 2015, the town was taken over by the Islamic State. A convoy of 40 heavily armed vehicles arrived from Sirte and ordered Nofaliya's residents to "repent" and pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The fighters appointed Ali Al-Qarqaa as emir of the town. Nofaliya was retaken by New General National Congress forces on 19 March 2015. However, after GNC retook Nofaliya, they withdrew from Nofaliya and bin Jawad in 20 March because of the Islamic State's offensive. They withdrew from there after only two days. The Islamic State is setting up checkpoints after they retook the city from GNC in 28 March. Moreover, Al-monitor reported that Nofaliya, Surt, Derna is under the Islamic state's control in 30 March.